Produced by AstraZeneca and commonly known by the brand name Onglyza, Saxagliptin is an oral hypoglycemic drug used to control blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes.

While all drugs have the potential to cause uncomfortable side effects, it’s become clear that some of the complications prompted by Onglyza can be life-threatening. Those with heart or kidney issues—which are common among diabetics—are especially vulnerable.

If you or someone you love developed heart failure while taking Onglyza, your family may be entitled to compensation for the associated damages. To see if you have grounds for legal action, fill out our form, and we’ll connect you with a reputable attorney in your area.

What Is Onglyza?

Onglyza has been approved to lower blood sugar in adults who have type 2 diabetes. A dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, it works by facilitating incretins, which are metabolic hormones that regulate the secretion of insulin after every meal. The body relies on insulin to limit the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream. Without it, blood sugar can rise to a dangerous level.

The active ingredient in Onglyza is saxagliptin. Inactive ingredients include lactose monohydrate, croscarmellose sodium, microcrystalline cellulose, and magnesium stearate. Additionally, the tablet’s coating contains polyvinyl alcohol, talc, polyethylene glycol, iron oxides, and titanium dioxide.

History of Onglyza & Related Lawsuits

AstraZeneca submitted the application for Onglyza in the United States in 2008. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in 2009; however, they recommended conducting a study that explored the formula’s cardiac risks before selling it.

AstraZeneca ignored the FDA’s concerns and started selling the medication in 2009, long before completing the study. Once they finally did finish their research, which confirmed the drug did increase the risk of heart failure, hundreds of thousands of patients had already been taking Onglyza for years.

In 2015 alone, approximately 386,000 people used Onglyza to control their blood sugar. In 2016, after completing their own safety review, the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication warning the public of saxagliptin’s risk of adverse cardiovascular events. The FDA emphasized the fact that the risk of heart failure was especially high in those with a history of heart or kidney issues. The FDA imposed new warning labels on every bottle of Onglyza as a result of their findings.

Researchers Begin Linking Onglyza to Heart Failure

In 2013, a series of studies showed that DPP-4 inhibitors did not contribute to heart attacks; however, researchers did identify an increase in hospitalizations for heart failure among those who took Onglyza.

Another study, completed in 2014, examined more than 16,000 patients and determined that among those taking Onglyza versus those taking a placebo, an additional 0.7% of those who took Onglyza were hospitalized for heart failure. While this figure may not seem that high, it amounts to tens of thousands of hospitalizations because Onglyza has been prescribed to millions of people.

It was these alarming findings that prompted the FDA to conduct its own safety review. After confirming saxagliptin’s risk of heart failure, they released recommendations instructing physicians to stop prescribing Onglyza to patients who experience:

  • Weight gain
  • Swelling in the hands, feet, and/or ankles
  • Trouble breathing when lying down
  • Shortness of breath when partaking in light physical activity
  • Unexplained fatigue

Affected Parties Begin Filing Onglyza Lawsuits

The first Onglyza-related lawsuit that was filed against AstraZeneca was a wrongful death case. A Chicago woman took action against the pharmaceutical giant in 2015 after her mother died from heart failure. The plaintiff alleged the deceased was prescribed Onglyza in 2010. After developing serious cardiovascular issues, she was diagnosed with heart failure in 2011. She was hospitalized twice before passing in 2013.

In the years since, hundreds of wrongful death and failure to warn suits have been filed against AstraZeneca. Plaintiffs have also alleged that the company failed to conduct adequate studies to confirm the drug’s risks prior to selling it.

Some people have also taken action against AstraZeneca over pancreatitis. In 2016, the defendant filed a motion for a summary judgment on these cases, and a federal judge dismissed the 14 claims. At the time, there were no similar claims pending in any other jurisdiction in the United States.

What Should I Do if I Have Been Affected by Onglyza?

If you or someone you love developed cardiac complications while taking Onglyza, your family may be entitled to compensation for the associated damages. If you were the one who suffered, you can file a personal injury suit on the grounds of product liability. If, on the other hand, your loved one died from heart failure, you may be able to proceed with a wrongful death suit.

How Do I Know if I Qualify to Be Part of an Onglyza Lawsuit?

The easiest way to determine whether you have grounds for legal action is to consult an attorney. To find a reputable lawyer who will give your case the attention it deserves, fill out our form. A seasoned professional will evaluate your situation to determine if suing AstraZeneca has the potential to yield a satisfactory settlement or a verdict in your favor.

While there’s no way to guarantee any given suit will result in a sizable payout, there are a number of factors that will influence the validity of your claim and, subsequently, your chances of winning. An attorney will consider all such factors when determining how best to proceed, including:

  • Whether you took Onglyza as prescribed
  • Whether you had any preexisting conditions that made you more vulnerable to cardiac complications
  • Whether you suffered actual damages as a result of taking Onglyza
  • Whether the statute of limitations has passed

If you intend to file a wrongful death suit, additional factors will influence the validity of your claim. For example, your lawyer will want to know:

  • Whether the deceased took Onglyza as prescribed
  • Whether the deceased had any preexisting conditions that made them more likely to suffer heart failure
  • Whether you relied on the deceased financially, and suffered actual damages as a result of their passing

If you intend to file a wrongful death suit, it’s important to consult a local attorney because every state has different requirements. For example, in some states, eligible beneficiaries may bring the claim. In others, however, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may take action. You can connect with a strategic lawyer in your state by filling out our form.

How Does an Onglyza Lawsuit Work?

Since every claim is unique—and legal proceedings are inherently unpredictable—there’s no way to be certain what will happen during your Onglyza lawsuit. After evaluating the situation, a knowledgeable attorney can explain the most likely outcome given the circumstances, so you have some idea of what to expect along the way.

Here are the basic stages of both product liability and wrongful death suits (keep in mind, however, that not all cases will pass through all stages):

  • Conducting a thorough investigation
  • Submitting a demand letter
  • Commencing settlement negotiations
  • Filing a formal lawsuit
  • Completing discovery
  • Attempting mediation
  • Going to trial
  • Collecting a judgment or appealing the verdict

It’s worth noting that these stages are for standard tort claims that remain independent. If your case gets consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL), the stages will be somewhat different. Thankfully, MDLs tends to streamline the proceedings, so you may be able to secure a payout much faster in such a scenario.

Do I Need Legal Counsel to Join an Onglyza Lawsuit?

If you want to a file a product liability or wrongful death suit, you’re under no obligation to seek legal counsel before getting started. It’s generally advisable, however, to turn to an attorney for guidance. Here are some of the biggest reasons why:

  • Navigating the proceedings can be challenging
  • You don’t want to overlook any recoverable damages
  • AstraZeneca has the resources to challenge every claim that comes their way
  • There are dozens of ways to jeopardize a claim inadvertently
  • You shouldn’t have to worry about corresponding with the opposing party
  • You may not have the resources to gather sufficient evidence of both liability and losses on your own

Despite the many reasons to hire a lawyer before going up against a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, you may still be considering representing yourself. This is especially true among those who are in dire financial straits because they think they cannot afford quality legal counsel.

Thankfully, you’ve got nothing to lose by calling a reputable firm. Most personal injury practices take cases on contingency, which essentially means their fee comes out of the final payout. And if the suit doesn’t yield any funds, they don’t charge an attorney’s fee at all. To find a lawyer near you who offers free, no-obligation consultations, fill out our form.

How Long Does It Take to Resolve an Onglyza Lawsuit?

It could take anywhere from a few months to a few years to resolve an Onglyza lawsuit. At the end of the day, there are a number of factors that will influence the duration of the proceedings, including the strength of the evidence presented and whether or not the case ends up going to trial.

For a more concrete answer pertaining to your particular situation, consult an attorney by filling out our form. A lawyer will be able to explain the most likely outcome—and the amount of time it will most likely take to get there—after examining the case from all angles.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for an Onglyza Lawsuit?

Every state has strict filing deadlines for both product liability and wrongful death suits. Called statutes of limitations, these deadlines typically range from one to six years. If the defendant proves uncooperative by refusing to offer a fair settlement—or disputing liability altogether—the plaintiff must file their suit in the appropriate court before the applicable deadline has passed.

Should you attempt to go to trial after the statute of limitations has run out, the judge will most likely dismiss your case. Since this would leave you with virtually no financial recourse, it’s best to consult an attorney as soon as possible.

How Much Can You Recover From an Onglyza Lawsuit?

Under product liability law, plaintiffs may pursue compensation for both the monetary and non-monetary damages they incur as a result of the defendant’s negligence. While specific recoverable losses vary by state, they typically include medical bills, lost wages, home care, and replacement services. They also include pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment in life.

Naturally, the damages you may seek by filing a wrongful death suit look a little different. While your family may still be entitled to compensation for expenses like medical bills and replacement services, for example, you won’t be entitled to lost wages and benefits unless you actually relied on the deceased financially.

Some states also allow for survival actions. In these suits, beneficiaries seek funds for the pain and suffering the deceased experienced prior to passing, rather than the losses the family incurred after.

If you have grounds for an Onglyza lawsuit, the total value of your case will depend on a variety of factors. A personal injury attorney can evaluate all such factors, including the extent of the damages you incurred and the strength of the evidence you have against the defendant, to determine a starting point for the negotiations.

How Long Does It Take to Receive the Funds After Resolving an Onglyza Lawsuit?

If your case yields a payout, it will likely take several weeks to a couple of months before you receive the funds to which you’re entitled. Following a successful tort claim, the plaintiff’s legal team usually accepts the compensation on the client’s behalf. They then resolve all outstanding debts, like medical liens and contingency fees, before distributing the portion that remains to the plaintiff. This ensures the plaintiff does not accidentally spend any funds that should be earmarked for another party.

Thankfully, personal injury payouts are not generally taxable. If you happened to deduct any medical expenses related to your injuries, though, you will have to pay taxes on the portion of the payout that corresponds to said deductions.

Final Thoughts

If you or someone you love developed heart failure while taking Onglyza, your family may have some financial recourse. To determine if filing a claim could be worthwhile, connect with a local lawyer by filling out our form. A reputable firm will use all the resources at their disposal to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

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