The first of 2,700 lawsuits alleging Actos (pioglitazone) caused bladder cancer is set to go to trial on Monday. The bellwether trial is taking place in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana before the Honorable Rebecca F. Doherty. Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm that has held a Plaintiffs’ leadership role throughout the litigation, reports that the jury was selected on January 27th. Jerrold S. Parker, founding partner of the firm, serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. The firm represents numerous individuals who developed bladder cancer after taking Actos, and is continuing to offer free legal advice.
The federal litigation consolidated in the Western District of Louisiana is entitled In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2299).
The first Plaintiffs going to trial are Terence Allen and his wife Susan. Mr. Allen took Actos to treat his Type 2 diabetes from 2004 to 2011, when he discovered that he had bladder cancer. He is one of many to allege that Actos caused the bladder cancer. Takeda is accused of hiding the risks from patients, their doctors and the general public.
The trial is expected to last six weeks. Since it is a bellwether trial, its outcome will help determine how the remaining cases will play out.
Over the past few years, Actos has been increasingly linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that patients taking Actos for more than a year may have a significantly higher chance of developing bladder cancer. Patients with a history of bladder cancer were advised to seek another form of treatment for their Type 2 diabetes.
Plaintiffs in the litigation allege that Takeda Pharmaceuticals hid the risks of Actos in order to protect their financial interests. Bloomberg reports that in March 2011, Actos sales peaked at $4.5 billion and accounted for 27 percent of the company’s revenue at the time.