A recently filed lawsuit alleges the wrongful death of an Ohio man due to the diabetes drug, Actos (pioglitazone), which, the lawsuit also alleges, caused bladder cancer in the man. Actos is a drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that Actos may increase risks for bladder cancer after one year of therapy.
The FDA approved Actos for the treatment of Type II diabetes in 1999. In 2011, the agency updated the label to warn that users may face an increased risk of bladder cancer after taking the drug for just one year. That warning was based on an ongoing 10-year Kaiser Permanente study. Other studies support the Actos-bladder cancer association. A study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) revealed that patients who took Actos for two years were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer. Another study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that Actos was linked to a 22 percent increased likelihood of developing bladder cancer.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff’s decedent took Actos from June 2002 to February 2007. At about the time the now-deceased man stopped taking Actos, he learned he developed bladder cancer. He died in September 2007 due to the bladder cancer, allegedly caused by Actos. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants were aware that taking Actos could lead to an increased risk of bladder cancer, but failed to disclose this information to the man, his doctor, and other consumers. The lawsuit seeks damages for extensive pain and suffering and severe emotional distress. Actos’ side effects greatly reduced the man’s ability to enjoy life, the suit also alleges.
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 that drug maker, 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 because of his grave condition. The jurors said that Takeda neglected to adequately warn consumers that Actos could cause cancer, said The South China Morning Post.
The national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the estate of the Ohio man on April 2, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Case No. 6:13-cv-0706). The lawsuit is one of thousands of cases pending in the Actos multidistrict litigation (In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 6:11-md-2299). Jerrold S. Parker, founding partner of Parker Waichman LLP, serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the litigation. 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.