Hey, Food and Drug Administration! We all know that drugs can cause side effects in some patients. Can we just move on?
I was afraid of that.
The agency's latest victim: Merck's
In controlled trials with more than 6,000 patients, Merck says it hasn't seen any meaningful increases in pancreatitis over placebo. Keep in mind that diabetics have an increased risk of getting pancreatitis, so a controlled experiment is definitely the way to go.
The same problem of reported cases of pancreatitis in people taking Amylin Pharmaceuticals
From a clinical perspective, the problem with all these early warnings from the FDA is that patients and doctors may become desensitized to them.
For the companies, that might not be such a bad thing. It's not hard to imagine that the Januvia warning could actually increase sales of Byetta, as doctors who have had good experiences with Januvia, without any cases of pancreatitis, might also discount the potential pancreatitis issues with Byetta.
That's one side effect of these warnings that Amylin and Eli Lilly wouldn't mind seeing.
See how dividend-paying stocks can offer both secure income and the opportunity for growth: Take a free look at our Income Investor newsletter service with a 30-day trial.