A Kentucky woman is claiming that her taking the type 2 diabetes drug Actos has resulted in a bladder cancer diagnosis.
In a lawsuit filed in a federal court recently, she becomes the latest to allege the popular drug that regulates the blood sugar of diabetics has resulted in a battle with the life-threatening disease. The woman is being represented by the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP, which represents numerous victims of this specific Actos side effect and has taken a leading role in the growing Multidistrict Litigation that includes similar lawsuits to the one it recently filed. Founding partner Jerrold S. Parker has been named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee as part of the MDL.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, the home of the MDL, and names Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and Eli Lilly and Co., as Defendants. The woman claims she would have never taken Actos if she had been warned of this potential side effect.
The Kentucky woman claims she took Actos as a treatment for her type 2 diabetes beginning in 2007 and until 2010. Sometime in July 2009, the woman was diagnosed with bladder cancer and she, like many others, believes it was caused by Actos.
It was not until September 2010 that the Food and Drug Administration warned that taking Actos for longer than two years or at high doses greatly increased a diabetic’s chances of developing bladder cancer. A year later, the agency said taking the drug for just one year could spur that deadly side effect. Labels on the drug were changed to indicate this potential danger.
That stance was prompted by several reviews of the drug’s safety, including a Kaiser Permanente study that suggested those exposed to Actos for longer than a year were 40 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who had not taken the drug. A follow-up study published in British Medical Journal indicated that a person’s risk of bladder cancer was doubled if they had taken the drug for two years.
These warnings prompted some foreign governments to drop support of Actos through their national prescription drug programs and Germany and France placed an outright ban on the drug. It is still widely available in the U.S. and Canada but neither country has taken action to restrict access to it.
Actos is one of the leading drug treatments for type 2 diabetes, a disease that affects millions of Americans and has reached near epidemic levels due to a societal trend away from natural foods and toward poor diets and sedentary lifestyles. It is believed millions more Americans are likely to be prescribed Actos and put at this same risk of bladder cancer.