Man Alleges Taking Actos for Two Years Caused Bladder Cancer

Actos_Bladder_CancerA South Dakota man is the latest to bring a lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Type 2 diabetes drug, Actos (pioglitazone). The plaintiff alleges that taking Actos for two years caused him to develop bladder cancer.

Actos was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999.

According to the complaint, the man began taking Actos in January 2009; he developed bladder cancer in May 2011, allegedly due to his having taken Actos. At the time of his diagnosis, he stopped taking the medication. 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 consumers. The plaintiff is suing for extensive pain and suffering and severe emotional distress.

According to the FDA, taking Actos for one year may significantly increase patients’ risk of developing bladder cancer. The safety label for Actos was updated in June 2011 to reflect this risk and that warning was based on the results of an ongoing 10-year study conducted by Kaiser Permanente.

Studies have continued to suggest that Actos can increase the risk of bladder cancer. For instance, the May 31, 2012 issue of the British Medical Journal found that Actos users were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer after two years. Also, the July 3, 2012 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that patients taking Actos were 22 percent likelier to develop bladder cancer.

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 sells, immunotherapy to attack bladder cancer cells, and/or bladder removal. Because bladder cancer is known to return, ongoing testing and early diagnosis is critical.

National law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, filed this lawsuit, one of thousands filed into the Actos multidistrict litigation in which Jerrold S. Parker, founding partner of Parker Waichman LLP, serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. 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.

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 basis because of his grave condition. The jurors said that Takeda neglected to adequately warn consumers that Actos could cause cancer, according to the The South China Morning Post.

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