The Meals and Drug Administration reported that traces of a possible carcinogen were present in samples of a beloved diabetes drug produced by Merck, the most recent occasion during which the impurity was discovered in the best-selling pharmaceutical merchandise.
Hundreds of thousands of people with type 2 diabetes rely on sitagliptin to keep excess blood sugar levels from testing. Merck markets the drug as Januvia and Janumet. In the last year, sitagliptin brought in more than $5 billion in revenue for Merck and was its third best-selling product.
Regardless of finding impurities in some batches, the FDA will enable Merck to move forward with promoting the drug quickly, saying the risks are outweighed by the patients’ rapid medical needs. “It may be harmful for patients with this situation to discontinue their sitagliptin without first speaking to their healthcare professionals,” the company stated in an announcement.