December 5, 2007

Bad Science: Study Published as Suggesting Byetta Can Replace Insulin Shows Opposite

UPDATE (April 2, 2013): Before you take Byetta, Victoza, Onglyza, or Januvia please read about the new research that shows that they, and probably all incretin drugs, cause severely abnormal cell growth in the pancreas and precancerous tumors. You'll find that information HERE.

Original post:

Study after study shows that Byetta is not the wonder drug that its manufacturer would like you to believe it is, but that doesn't keep the drug company from spinning the results of their disappointing studies.

Here's the abstract of this new study which was preformed by researchers who were forced to disclose that they were funded by the makers of Byetta:

Exploring the Substitution of Exenatide for Insulin in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Treated With Insulin in Combination With Oral Antidiabetes Agents

It concludes "it is feasible to sustain glycemic control when substituting exenatide for insulin". But a closer look at the study finds that this is NOT at all what it really found.

First of all, the researchers stacked the deck for Byetta by comparing Byetta with insulin used incorrectly. To quote an editorial published besides the study "the insulin regimen used in this study was often non-physiological and that no attempt was made to optimize insulin therapy before substituting exenatide."

Secondly, even when compared to those using poorly prescribed insulin regimens, the people taking Byetta saw their A1c deteriorate and suffered many more side effects.

This doesn't stop the people who profit from Byetta from touting the idea that their study "proves" that expensive Byetta can be substituted for insulin.

You can bet your bippy drug company reps will be telling your doctor that these exciting new results mean they should move patients on insulin to Byetta.

If your doctor tells you this, call him or her on it and ask why they haven't looked at the actual data. You might also cite the conclusions published in the accompanying editorial by Drs. Julio Rosenstock, of the Dallas Diabetes and Endocrine Center, and Vivian Fonseca, of Tulane University, New Orleans, who were not funded by the makers of Byetta.

They wrote, "The overall effect on glycemic control was rather disappointing. ...this was clearly a negative trial, with a flawed study design and a conclusion that perhaps should have been stronger against substituting exenatide for insulin."


Scott S said...

I am in favor of not permitting any study that is funded by the drug companies to be published in a medical or scientific journal, as that is the worst kind of pseudo-science there is. These studies are sad, yet the army of drug sales reps bothering endocrinologists and doctors will be pushing this, and other largely unsubstantiated claims while patients sit in the waiting rooms waiting to be seen!

Anonymous said...

Started Byetta Aug. 05. Byetta actually brought my A1C down close to a normal range and I lost and kept off 31 lbs. I feel much better than I did when I was taking Lantus insulin, much less fluctuations in numbers. I guess what works for some doesn't work for others.