New Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuit Filed in Illinois

An Illinois man has filed suit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Elli Lily, claiming the type 2 diabetes drug Actos gave him bladder cancer. Plaintiff Robert Bettorf says he was unaware that <"">Actos could cause bladder cancer when he began taking the medication in 2007.

According to a report from the Madison County Record, Bettorf’s lawsuit, which was filed on filed Sept. 16 in Madison County Circuit Court, claims that Takeda and Eli Lilly did know as early as 2005 that Actos could cause bladder cancer in people who use it for more than 12 months. According to the complaint, that year, a two-year cancer study was conducted on male and female rats, which revealed that the animals ended to develop drug-induced tumors. Another study revealed that patients who took Actos were more prone to develop bladder cancer than those who ingested similar medications, the complaint alleges. According to the lawsuit, the makers of Actos did not warn patients about either study’s findings.

In 2008, Bettorf was diagnosed with bladder cancer. He stopped using Actos in 2011, according to the complaint. According to the Madison County Record, Bettorf has charged Takeda and Eli Lilly with strict liability, negligent failure to warn, negligent design defect, negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, negligent misrepresentation, violation of Illinois Consumer Protection Laws and loss of consortium. He and his wife, who is also a plaintiff in the suit, are seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs, attorneys’ fees, costs and other relief the court deems just, the Madison County Record said.

The Bettorf lawsuit is just the latest to be filed by a victim of bladder cancer allegedly caused by Actos. So far, at least 54 cases have been filed in federal district courts throughout the U.S. plaintiffs argue that Takeda failed to properly research the medication or warn about the risk.

On August 31, plaintiffs in one such lawsuit petitioned the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistriction Litigation for the consolidation, requesting that all pending and future Actos bladder cancer lawsuits in federal courts be transferred to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois before Judge G. Patrick Murphy. On September 19, Takeda’s attorneys filed a response to that petition, and agreed that the Actos lawsuits should be consolidated. However, they asked that the litigation be transferred to either the Northern District of Illinois or Western District of Louisiana.

Actos is the best selling type II diabetes drug in the world, but over the summer, growing concerns about its possible link to bladder cancer reached a crescendo. 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. That same month, sales of the drug were suspended in France and Germany 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.

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