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Keywords:

  • GLP-1;
  • pharmaco-epidemiology;
  • observational study

Aim

We evaluated the relationship between liraglutide and acute pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer in an ongoing post-marketing safety assessment programme.

Methods

Initiators of liraglutide, exenatide, metformin, pioglitazone or groups containing initiators of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors or sulfonylureas were identified in a US commercial health insurance claims database (1 February 2010 to 31 March 2013) and followed for a median of 15 months. We estimated incidence rates (IR/100 000 person-years), rate ratio (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of new insurance claims with diagnoses of primary inpatient acute pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer from Poisson regression models.

Results

The IR for acute pancreatitis for liraglutide was 187.5 compared with 154.4 for all non-glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)-based therapies (adjusted RR 1.10; CI 0.81–1.49). The IR for pancreatic cancer was 19.9 for liraglutide compared with 33.0 for all non-GLP-1-based therapies (adjusted RR 0.65; 95% CI 0.26–1.60).

Conclusion

We did not observe excess risk of either outcome associated with liraglutide relative to individual or pooled comparator drugs.