Thousands Sue Takeda Over Bladder Cancer Link to Actos

By Bill O'Mara, Virginia Dangerous Drugs Lawyer

The diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone), was recently in the news after a study showed it may have a cardiovascular benefit in holding off strokes and heart attacks.

Like many drugs and medical devices that harm people, there are often beneficial effects to taking or using them. However, when patients are harmed by side effects that the drug manufacturers failed to adequately warn of, there may be grounds to sue the manufacturer.

Actos is a case in point. A few years ago Takeda’s drug was linked to bladder cancer. Although clinical trials showed there was a link, they appeared to understate it.

Actos is linked to bladder cancer

In June 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a paper that suggested there was a high risk of diabetics who used Actos developing bladder cancer. This “Drug Safety Communication,” said that, based on dose and duration of use, there was a 40 percent increased risk of developing bladder cancer.

One study suggested that the risk could be considerably higher, and there was an 83 percent increased risk of bladder cancer among Actos users.

Like all forms of cancer, bladder cancer is life-threatening. However, it is treatable if it’s detected at an early stage.

The symptoms are usually painless and easy to miss. Blood in the urine may be visible, but it is most often not visible unless under a microscope. Many patients don’t realize they have bladder cancer until they receive the results of a urine test.

Other common symptoms of bladder cancer include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Regular bladder infections
  • Pain in the back or lower abdomen
  • Painful urination

Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuits are Filed

Lawsuits began to flood in after June 2011 when the FDA announced that wanted to see a bladder cancer warning be placed on the Actos label. Many users who had developed bladder cancer filed suit.

With several hundred cases pending in federal court, the cases were all consolidated in federal court in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

Last April Takeda agreed to settle about 5,000 federal lawsuits related to Actos for $2.37 billion.

Recently, Yale University published a study that found Actos was better than a placebo in holding off additional strokes and heart attacks.

We would still urge extreme caution in using this drug given its link to bladder cancer. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a dangerous drug, call us at (757) 455-0077.

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