Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuit Plaintiffs Petition for Consolidation

<"">Actos bladder cancer lawsuits could be headed for consolidation in a multidistrict litigation (MDL). Late last month, plaintiffs in one such lawsuit petitioned the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistriction Litigation for the consolidation, requesting that all pending and future Actos bladder cancer lawsuits in federal courts be transferred to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois before Judge G. Patrick Murphy.

At least 11 Actos bladder cancer lawsuits have been filed in federal courts throughout the U.S. Two were filed in Southern District of Illinois and the others are filed in the Northern District of Illinois, Western District of New York, Southern District of New York, District of New Jersey, Northern District of Ohio and Central District of California. All lawsuits allege that defendants, including Takeda Pharmaceuticals, were negligent and failed to warn of the risks associated with the medication. The motion for the MDL was filed on August 31 by plaintiffs Glen and Nina Weant.

An MDL allows lawsuits associated with a particular product to be coordinated under one judge for pretrial litigation to avoid duplicative discovery, inconsistent rulings and to conserve the resources of the parties, witnesses and the court. When lawsuits are consolidated as a multidistrict litigation, each retains its own identity. If the multidistrict litigation process does not resolve the cases, they are transferred back to the court where they originated for trial.

Actos is the best selling type II diabetes drug in the world, but in recent months, it has caused safety concerns because of its possible association with bladder cancer. On June 15, 2011, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication stating that use of Actos for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. The June safety communication was a follow-up to one the agency issued in September 2010 after preliminary data from a study conducted by Kaiser Permanente demonstrated that the risk of bladder cancer rises with increasing dose and duration of Actos use, reaching statistical significance after 24 months.

In June, the French and German governments decided to suspend sales of Actos in those countries after a separate study commissioned by French regulators demonstrated an increased risk of bladder cancer associated with Actos in people who took it the longest and at the highest cumulative dose. On July 12, Takeda Pharmaceuticals officially recalled Actos from the market in France.

As we reported previously
, the European Union’s European Medicines Agency (EMA) also conducted a review and confirmed the bladder cancer risk, calling for new warnings and a six-month review of every patient on Actos. The EMA suggested that Actos bladder cancer risks could be reduced by appropriate patient selection and exclusion.

It is expected that more people will file Actos bladder cancer lawsuits in the near future. Earlier this summer, one plaintiffs’ attorney told the Associated Press that his firm already had 100 Actos bladder cancer lawsuits pending, and is receiving up to 40 inquiries per week from potential plaintiffs.

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