The makers of Type 2 diabetes drug, Actos, are involved in yet another lawsuit in which a plaintiff alleges Actos (pioglitazone) caused bladder cancer.
In this case, the plaintiff, a New York man, said he took Actos from October 2005 to February 2011. The man began to suffer from bladder cancer about this time, according to the complaint, and he alleges that Actos caused the cancer.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has warned about the risks of taking Actos. In fact, on June 15, 2011, the agency said that taking Actos for more than one year could significantly increase risks of developing bladder cancer. The drug’s safety label was updated to address this risk.
Other research supports the link between Actos and bladder cancer. The British Medical Journal published a study on May 31, 2012, that revealed Actos users were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer after two years. On July 3, 2012, the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported that patients taking the medication were 22 percent more likely to get bladder cancer.
Some of the symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in the urine, frequent urination, or feeling pain when urinating. To confirm cancer of the bladder, testing the urine for blood or abnormal cells and undergoing a bladder cytoscopy to view the bladder and obtain cells are generally conducted, WebMD says. If bladder cancer is confirmed, the stage of that cancer determines the treatment, which may include surgery to remove the cancer, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells, immunotherapy to attack bladder cancer cells, and/or bladder removal. Because bladder cancer is known to return, ongoing testing and early diagnosis is critical.
In the first of some 3,000 Actos injury lawsuits to go to trial, jurors found Takeda Pharmaceutical must pay $6.5 million in damages to a California man. The 79-year-old plaintiff was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2011 and had taken Actos for more than four years. In fact, his case was heard on an expedited basis because of his grave condition. The jurors said that Takeda neglected to adequately warn consumers that Actos could cause cancer, according to The South China Morning Post.
National law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, filed this recent lawsuit on July 15, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Case No. 6:13-cv-2242). This case is one of thousands of cases filed as part of the multidistrict litigation (MDL) entitled In Re: Actos Products Liability Litigation (6:11-md-2299). Takeda Pharmaceuticals, America; Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. f/k/a Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; and Eli Lilly and Company have been named as defendants. Jerrold S. Parker, founding partner of Parker Waichman LLP, serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the litigation.