Lawsuit: Nevada Man Alleges Diabetes Drug, Actos, Caused His Bladder Cancer

A Nevada man who began taking the Type II diabetes drug, Actos, in October 2005 has filed a lawsuit that alleges that the medication caused his bladder cancer; he was diagnosed with cancer in October 2008. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is the maker of Actos (pioglitazone).

The lawsuit also alleges that Actos is defective that the defendants knew about the risks of taking Actos and failed to warn the man, his physician, and the public. The Nevada man is suing for severe mental and physical pain and suffering, permanent injuries and emotional distress, economic loss due to medical expenses, and living related expenses due to a new lifestyle. The lawsuit also seeks compensation for the loss of consortium on behalf of his wife.

The FDA updated the Actos label in 2011 to include a warning that use of Actos for more than one year was associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. That warning was based on an ongoing 10-year study being conducted by Kaiser Permanente; however, other studies continue to support this association. Last May, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a study that found that patients who took Actos for two years were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer. Another study, published last summer in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that Actos use was linked to a 22 percent increased likelihood of developing bladder cancer.

Bloomberg News previously noted that, in 2011, FDA officials discovered that a review of a Takeda-sponsored study revealed some Actos users were at an increased risk of developing not just bladder cancer, but heart problems, as well, Takeda pulled Actos from the German and French market that year in response to regulator demands there.

Meanwhile, in the first of more than 3,000 Actos injury lawsuits that is being heard and on which we’ve written, prior witness testimony indicated that Takeda put money before patient safety when it came to Actos. Thousands have come forward who believe they’ve either contracted bladder cancer or been unknowingly put at risk for this life-threatening disease because Takeda hid evidence that revealed its popular drug was linked to this dangerous side effect.

In fact, the trial revealed that Takeda’s studies of Actos showed bladder cancer links as far back as 2004; however, the drug maker did not advise United States regulators for seven years, said Bloomberg News previously. Takeda is Asia’s largest drug maker and, according to that plaintiff’s attorney, Takeda hid this news to protect its more than $1.6 billion in yearly Actos sales.

The national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, filed the newest lawsuit into the Actos multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana; Jerrold S. Parker, co-founder of Parker Waichman LLP, serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. The lawsuit was filed on April 2, 2013 and 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.

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