Mississippi Man Sues Over Actos Bladder Cancer Injuries

A Mississippi man is suing the maker of Type 2 diabetes drug, Actos (Pioglitazone), over injuries he alleges he suffered from taking the drug. He began taking Actos in October 2009 and was diagnosed with bladder cancer in July 2011.

The lawsuit alleges that Actos is a defective medication that caused the man’s bladder cancer, and seeks compensation for an array of issues. The lawsuit also alleges that the defendants were aware of the risks of Actos but made no effort to adequately warn the man, his doctor, or other users about these dangers. Takeda Pharmaceuticals, America; Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. f/k/a Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; and Eli Lilly and Company were named as defendants.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (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. For example, 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.

The first trial over an Actos bladder cancer claim is currently under way in Los Angeles state court. In that case, the plaintiff, was diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos for four years. According to Bloomberg News, the plaintiff in that case alleges that Actos caused his terminal condition and that Takeda was aware of the risks, yet failed to issue a warning. Law360 recently reported that a physician testified that Actos was the “most substantial” factor in the man’s developing bladder cancer.

The plaintiff, a 79-year-old former cable splicer for Pacific Bell, has been given two to eight months to live, said his attorney. The case is one of some 3,000 nationwide to go to trial and is being heard first due to the plaintiff’s grave prognosis.

As we’ve written, in this first Actos lawsuit, prior witness testimony indicated that Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. 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 Pharmaceutical hid evidence that revealed its popular drug was linked to this dangerous side effect.

Meanwhile, noted Bloomberg News previously, 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 regulators there.

The recent lawsuit was filed by national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, on behalf of the Mississippi man on April 2, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Case No. 6:13-cv-0684). There, this lawsuit is one of many pending in the Actos multidistrict litigation known as In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 6:11-md-2299).

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