Lawsuit: Actos Caused Bladder Cancer, Wrongful Death of Wisconsin Man

A lawsuit just filed by the national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, alleges that a Wisconsin man’s bladder cancer and wrongful death were the result of the Type 2 diabetes drug, Actos (pioglitazone).

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the man’s wife on November 16th in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division (Case No. 6:12-cv-02886-RFD-PJH) and has been filed into the Actos multidistrict litigation (MDL) as part of the In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 6:11-md-2299). Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., 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 in this case.

Actos was approved in 1999 and is part of the thiazolidinedione (TZD) drug class, which also includes the drug, Avandia.

According to the complaint, the man began taking Actos in 2004, developed bladder cancer in 2009, and died in October 2010, allegedly due to using Actos. The lawsuit alleges that Actos use caused the man extensive pain and suffering and severe emotional distress, and substantially reduced his ability to enjoy life. The lawsuit also alleges loss of consortium on behalf of the man’s wife and that the defendants failed to warn that Actos could cause bladder cancer. The lawsuit also claims that the woman’s husband would not have taken Actos if he were aware of the risks.

Last summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the safety label on Actos to warn that the medication could significantly increase the risk of bladder cancer after one year of use.

Also, a number of research studies have linked Actos to an increased risk of bladder cancer. In August, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study showing that Actos and other TZD drugs could increase the risk of bladder cancer when used long-term. The month prior, the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that patients who take Actos are 22 percent likelier to develop bladder cancer. Another study, published by the British Medical Journal in May 2012, found that the risk of bladder cancer doubled after two years.

Millions are prescribed Actos every year as a treatment to regulate their blood sugar levels to control symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. More and more Americans are developing Type 2 diabetes, especially later in life, as their sedentary lifestyles and poor diets often lead them to this life-threatening diagnosis. And, as more people develop diabetes, more are turning to prescription drug treatments like Actos for answers.

This is just the latest lawsuit to claim that taking Actos resulted in serious health complications, namely bladder cancer. For some people who experience this dangerous side effect, like this man from Wisconsin, that complication can be fatal.

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