SAVE $20 OFF First Orders with Coupon Code: POLARBEARN20

Merck Plans to Resolve Januvia Contamination Issue

Resolve Januvia Contamination Issue

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that Januvia, a blockbuster type 2 diabetes drug, has been found contaminated with a potential carcinogen called Nitroso-STG-19 (NTTP). In response to these concerns, Merck, the leading pharmaceutical company, says it has figured out how the drug has become contaminated with nitrosamine. In this blog post, we delve into the contamination issue, Merck’s response, its plan to address the issue, and how to address the impact on diabetes patients. Additionally, you can buy Januvia online to manage your blood glucose levels effectively.

The Januvia Contamination Issue

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced in August 2022 that certain sitagliptin samples were contaminated with the nitrosamine Nitroso-STG-19 (NTTP). Sitagliptin is the primary compound in Merck’s popular type 2 diabetes drug, Januvia 50 mg tablet. The regulatory body said it would allow continued distribution of sitagliptin even if the nitrosamine impurities are present at levels above the permitted consumable limits. This is to prevent a drug shortage and ensure that those with type 2 diabetes can continue to access their medicines.

FDA Updates Sitagliptin Daily Intake Limit

The FDA has established a daily permitted intake limit of 37 ng per day but is extending this to an interim threshold of 246.7 ng daily. As per agency scientists, this increased limit poses only a minimal added risk of cancer, corresponding to the stricter cut-off.

In patients with type 2 diabetes, sitagliptin, obtained only through prescription, helps control blood glucose levels. In patients with this condition, stopping medications may present a danger because too much glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream, eventually causing complications in the circulatory and nervous systems. As long as it is necessary to prescribe sitagliptin, the FDA recommends that physicians continue to do so.

Why Are Nitrosamines a Cause of Concern?

Nitrosamines are a class of organic compounds that have been used in our diet for decades as food preservatives and meat cures. There are naturally occurring nitrosamines as well as synthetic ones caused by manufacturing and agriculture processes. They are linked to cancer, which is a source of concern. According to the Science Direct Journal, around 75% of nitrosamines are believed to cause cancer in mammals when they are present in high enough amounts for an extended period of time.

A number of malignancies have been linked to nitrosamines, including esophageal cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, kidney cancer, etc. It is well known that N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is linked to colorectal cancer. Tobacco products also contain some of the most carcinogenic (cancer-causing) nitrosamines. Other medications, such as Losartan, Metformin, Ranitidine, and Varenicline, were also affected.

Two molecular processes contribute to nitrosamine damage to DNA, alkylation and adduct formation. Cancer risk increases with the accumulation of DNA damage over time. A daily consumption of 37 nanograms of nitrosamine is permissible according to the FDA, but anything over that is potentially harmful.

Merck Addresses Contamination in Januvia

Merck confirmed that they had detected NTTP in some batches of their sitagliptin-containing medicines. Apart from Januvia, impurities were also found in certain batches of Janumet (which contains both metformin and sitagliptin) and Steglujan, both of which are indicated for type 2 diabetes. Merck is meeting the FDA’s interim thresholds for NTTP by working with health authorities worldwide and implementing additional quality control measures. The company remains confident in the safety, efficacy, and quality of its sitagliptin-containing medicines, which ensures that patients won’t suffer a significant reduction in supply.

Januvia and Janumet are Merck’s best-selling drugs, contributing significantly to their earnings. However, the contamination issue has affected the company’s reputation and resulted in a 1.9% drop in shares after the FDA’s announcement. Merck faces the challenge of balancing patient safety, supply continuity, and shareholder confidence.

Merck Plans to Remove Contaminants from Januvia

Merck swiftly initiated an investigation to determine the source of contamination. Was it an issue within their manufacturing process or the result of a third-party supplier? The answer was crucial for patient safety and regulatory compliance. The company implemented additional quality controls and pledged to consistently reduce NTTP levels to meet long-term acceptable daily intake standards. The timeline for achieving this goal depends on process modifications and ongoing engagement with health authorities. Patient safety remains paramount, but so does ensuring a stable supply of these vital drugs.

In a report submitted to the FDA, Merck revealed that it had identified the root cause of the contamination. Armed with this knowledge, the company confidently informed the regulator that it could rectify the issue by the end of 2023. This commitment is significant, considering the potential impact on patient health and the reputation of the drugs. 

Addressing the Impact on Diabetes Patients

It is vital to address the potential consequences of Januvia contamination on the health and well-being of diabetes patients:

Anxiety and Uncertainty: Patients may feel worried about the contamination issue and its impact on their health.

  • Provide clear information to reassure patients about the safety of their medication.
  • Encourage open communication to address concerns and provide support.

Treatment Changes: Patients might need to switch medications or increase monitoring, disrupting their routine.

  • Work with patients to develop new treatment plans tailored to their needs.
  • Offer support and resources to help them stick to their medication schedule.

Educational Needs: Patients require clear information to understand the contamination issue and its implications.

  • Provide easy-to-understand materials explaining the situation and recommended actions.
  • Offer educational sessions to empower patients to make informed decisions about their treatment.

Monitoring Importance: Patients need guidance on monitoring their health and recognizing signs of complications.

  • Teach patients self-monitoring techniques like blood sugar testing.
  • Encourage regular communication with healthcare providers regarding any concerns.

Emotional Support: Patients may experience stress and anxiety related to the contamination issue.

  • Offer emotional support and counseling services.
  • Connect patients with support bodies or community resources for additional help.

In addition, you can buy Januvia online from Polar Bear Meds, the best Canadian online pharmacy, at exclusive prices with timely delivery.

The Bottom Line

While the Januvia contamination issue has posed significant challenges for both Merck and diabetes patients, proactive measures are being taken to address the situation. By providing clear information, adapting treatment plans, and offering support, healthcare professionals can mitigate the impact on patients’ well-being. Merck’s commitment to rectifying the contamination and ensuring patient safety is commendable. Moving forward, continued collaboration between healthcare professionals, regulatory agencies, and pharmaceutical companies will be essential in safeguarding patient health and maintaining trust in the medication supply chain.

Scroll to Top