Four more Byetta-related deaths may require stronger warnings

8/27/2008

NEW YORK Four additional deaths from pancreatitis among users of the diabetes drug Byetta may require makers Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals to put stronger warnings on it.

The companies announced the deaths Wednesday in addition to the two deaths the Food and Drug Administration announced last week. No direct relationship between Byetta and the deaths has been established, though. The two companies warned of the pancreatitis risk in October.

Byetta, known generically as exenatide, has been on the market in the United States since 2005, with global sales of $330.7 million last year, according to Eli Lilly financial data.

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