The American Diabetes Association has joined with the Endocrine Society in order to call for a release
of all patient data relating to the increased risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer linked to incretin drugs.
Incretins are hormones that release elevated amounts of insulin after eating, and there have been wide disagreements among medical and scientific professionals on both the efficacy of incretin drugs as a diabetic treatment and the danger inherent in such drugs.
How Exactly Does an Incretin Drug Work?
The hormone stimulates beta cells in the Islets of Langerhans and causes a release of insulin into the bloodstream. It also blocks the absorption of certain nutrients into the bloodstream. Aside from the possible cancer-causing side effects, the main problem with incretin drug therapy is that the hormone is only short-acting; therefore, it is not generally useful as a treatment for diabetes unless injected.
What Data Exists on the Use of Incretin Drugs?
Unfortunately, many of the data extant on the use of incretin drugs are incomplete and significantly limited. Many professionals think there is a direct tie-in with elevated cancer risks, but others argue just as vehemently that there must be more research. That is the main reason the ADA and similar organizations are calling for the release of company records.
In fact, the Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization and European Medicines Agency are working together to contribute massive databases to the study of incretin drugs. Couple with the expected release of drug company documents, that should go a long way to settling the question of treatment viability and danger.
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