A Louisiana man has become the latest to claim that his taking the type 2 diabetes drug Actos resulted in developing bladder cancer. He has filed a lawsuit against the Japanese manufacturer of the drug and the marketer of it in the U.S., claiming they failed to warn about this life-threatening side effect in favor of profits.
The man is being represented by the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP, which represents several victims making similar claims of Actos’ dangerous side effect. The law firm has taken a leading role in these claims. Founding partner Jerrold S. Parker is currently serving on the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee in the ongoing Actos Multidistrict Litigation. The lawsuit filed on behalf of the Louisiana man is joining others in the MDL, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
In his lawsuit, the Louisiana man claims to have taken Actos to regulate blood sugar levels from 2009 until 2012. During that time, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer, a development he blames on taking Actos. The lawsuit seeks damages on charges of negligence, three counts of strict products liability (defective design, manufacturing defect, failure to warn), breach of express and implied warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and deceit, punitive damages, violation of consumer protection statutes, state products liability acts or statutes, and loss of consortium, according to a press release from Parker Waichman. The damages are to cover the severe mental and physical pain and suffering, past and future permanent injuries and emotional distress, economic loss due to medical expenses, and living-related expenses as a result of a new lifestyle.
Actos has become one of the leading type 2 diabetes medications available in the U.S. since it was first approved in 1999. It has supplanted Avandia as the leading thiazolidinedione (TZD) drug after access to its predecessor was strictly limited by the Food and Drug Administration last year when it found the drug to significantly increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and possibly death.
Millions of Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes and more people are diagnosed with the disease every day. It is likely that many more will be prescribed Actos to regulate blood sugar levels.
The Louisiana man claims he was never warned about the risk of bladder cancer associated with the drug. Takeda, he claims, failed to act on research it had and instead opted to exclude this dangerous warning from marketing materials and safety labels accompanying the drug. It was not until 2010 that the Food and Drug Administration warned about the link between Actos and bladder cancer. It was about that time that people who had been taking the drug decided to first file lawsuits against the company for failing to warn of this risk.
The FDA warned that taking Actos for longer than a year or at higher doses significantly increased the risk of bladder cancer, especially compared to people not taking the drug. Along with the warning came updated safety warnings with the drug that showed patients taking the drug for this long or at those doses were 40 percent more likely to develop the life-threatening disease than people on other type 2 diabetes drugs. And while the FDA has allowed Actos to remain on the market, several European governments have outlawed the drug.