North Carolina man claims bladder cancer the result of taking diabetes drug Actos

A North Carolina man is the latest to claim that taking the popular type 2 diabetes drug Actos led to his bladder cancer diagnosis.

The man has taken the same route as a growing number of other Americans and filed a lawsuit against the makers of the drug and the companies responsible for marketing it in the U.S. He claims in his complaint that Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly & Co. knowingly hid evidence that showed taking this particular diabetes drug – especially at high doses or for a prolonged period of time – could lead to bladder cancer.

The Plaintiff in this case is being represented by the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP. The firm is actively representing other victims of Actos’ life-threatening side effects and has been busy in recent months filing lawsuits similar to the one on behalf of the North Carolina man. In fact, the firm has been appointed to serve in a leading role representing all victims of Actos-related bladder cancer.

This latest lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. It joins other and a growing number of similar lawsuits all making similar claims as the most recent as the Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 6:11-md-2299). Jerrold S. Parker, a founding partner at Parker Waichman LLP, has already been appointed to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, actively taking part in the pre-trial decision making that aims to set an even platform for any future trials or agreed-to settlements.

MDL are approved by a federal judicial panel and combine lawsuits which make like claims. The process streamlines the pre-trial process and decides on matters of admission of evidence, approved witnesses, and other matters that could be used as grounds for appeal after a decision has been reached. The MDL process aims to eliminate the basis for any appeals.

In the Actos MDL, 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.

The North Carolina man claims in his lawsuit that he was prescribed to take Actos in 2002 and after taking the drug he developed bladder cancer. He believes that Takeda knew of the risk of bladder cancer associated with the drug for some time but failed to inform the public of this risk in favor of higher sales.

Revenues generated from Actos sales have ballooned recently since the previous top-selling type 2 diabetes drug, Avandia, was near-entirely removed from the market by the Food and Drug Administration due to its link to several life-threatening side effects like heart attack and stroke. Prior to that, Actos had avoided the focus of much research and since it has supplanted Avandia as a top-selling drug, more attention has been given to its dangerous side effects.

As evidence, even though the North Carolina man was prescribed Actos in 2002 – it was formally approved by the FDA in July 1999 – it was not until last year that the agency first informed the public of this dangerous side effect risk. The FDA formally added a Black Box warning to Actos safety information that notes taking the drug for more than a year can increase the risk of suffering bladder cancer, a life-threatening disease.

A recent study showed that taking Actos over another type 2 diabetes medication could increase a person’s risk of developing bladder cancer by 22 percent.

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