More Actos cancer bladder lawsuits have been filed this past month, including three in Illinois and one in Louisiana. All of the lawsuits claim that plaintiffs named in the complaint were diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos, a popular treatment for type 2 diabetes sold by Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
In Illinois, three couples filed Actos bladder cancer lawsuits on January 18 in Madison County Circuit Court. Donald Sandidge, Phillip Block and John Allen say they were each prescribed Actos for the long-term maintenance of high blood sugar. After each used it for several years, they were found to be suffering from bladder cancer. They contend that defendants, Takeda and Eli Lilly, intentionally withheld information about the drug’s association with bladder cancer so as not to jeopardize Actos’ approval by U.S. drug regulators.
The lawsuit further accuses Takeda and other defendants of “concealing their knowledge of Actos’ unreasonably dangerous risks” from patients, their doctors, other consumers and the medical community as a whole. Had those risks been disclosed, none of them would have taken Actos, the plaintiffs claim.
The lawsuits all name the men’s’ wives as co-plaintiffs. Each is seeking more than $50,000 in actual damages along with punitive damages and court costs.
In Louisiana, a Houma man who says he developed bladder cancer after taking Actos for more than a year is demanding an unspecified amount of damages from Takeda and other defendants. Russell Samanie’s complaint, filed in federal court in New Orleans, alleges:
“Defendants concealed and continue to conceal their knowledge that Actos can cause bladder cancer from (Samanie), other consumers, and the medical community,” the suit says. “Specifically, (the) defendants have yet to adequately inform consumers and the prescribing community about the risks of bladder cancer with use of Actos for more than 12 months.”
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.
That same month, 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
Since the FDA issued its safety communication in June, hundreds of people around the U.S. have filed Actos bladder cancer lawsuits, and legal experts believe that Takeda could eventually face more than 10,000 personal injury claims. In December, a federal panel ordered that all Actos bladder cancer lawsuits filed in federal courts be consolidated in a multidistrict litigation and transferred to the U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana.