A Texas man has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Case No. 6:13-cv-02229) alleging that the diabetes drug Actos is to blame for his bladder cancer.
This case is one of thousands of cases filed as part of the multidistrict litigation (MDL) entitled In Re: Actos (pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation (6:11-md-2299). Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Company have been named as defendants. Multidistrict litigation is a special federal legal procedure designed to speed the handling of cases that involve common questions of fact by consolidating a number of cases before one judge in one court.
According to court documents in this case, the plaintiff took Actos from August 2003 through to March 2012. The plaintiff was suffering from bladder cancer in March 2012, allegedly because of Actos’ side effects, the complaint states.
Actos received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 1999 for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and at the time was believed to be a safer alternative to Avandia, another Type 2 diabetes drug in its class. But in June 2011, based on five-year data from an ongoing epidemiological study, the FDA issued a warning that taking Actos for more than a year could significantly increase the risk of bladder cancer. The agency required an update of the Actos label to address this risk (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm266555.htm).
Recent research findings support the link between Actos and bladder cancer. A study published in the British Medical Journal in May 2012 found that Actos users were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer after two years. In July 2012, the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that patients taking the medication were 22 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer.
The Texas man’s lawsuit was filed on his behalf by Parker Waichman LLP. Jerrold S. Parker, founding partner of Parker Waichman LLP, serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Actos litigation.