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Endocrine Society issues statement pointing to important upcoming safety studies

Chevy Chase, MD—According to a statement issued today by The Endocrine Society, the current range of data on GLP-1 receptor agonists and DPP-4 inhibitors have significant limitations and are not ideal to be used to validate adverse events. The Society believes that more research is needed in all areas of incretin-based therapy before any conclusion can be reached about its safety with regard to risks of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

The statement comes in response to recent concerns that treatment of type 2 diabetes with DPP-4 inhibitors or GLP-1 analogs may be associated with an increased risk of developing acute pancreatitis severe enough to require hospitalization, a condition with potentially significant morbidity.

Important safety data are expected from the upcoming Safety Evaluation of Adverse Reactions in Diabetes (SAFEGUARD) program which was established by the European Medicines Society. Furthermore, results from a large cardiovascular safety trial of DPP-4 inhibitors are expected within the next few years.

The Society urges all manufacturers of incretin-based therapy to make data from these upcoming studies available to an independent group of scientists for analysis as it becomes available.

In the statement, the Society recommends that patients should be made aware of the potential side effects of incretin-based therapies and discourages them from stopping medications on their own without consulting their health care provider, since this can lead to serious short-term health problems and could increase the risk of long-term diabetes-related complications.

Diabetes care providers should consider the possible adverse effects as they balance risks and benefits of particular treatments.

A special session from ENDO 2013 in San Francisco frames the current controversy on pancreatic disease and DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists. The session is available online at:

The Society’s full statement can be accessed online.

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Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest, and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society’s membership consists of over 16,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses, and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied, and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at Follow us on Twitter at!/EndoMedia.