A man who took Actos for two years is the latest victim to file a lawsuit over the popular Type 2 diabetes medication. The Louisiana man alleges that taking Actos for two years left him with bladder cancer. He is being represented by the national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP.
The lawsuit, filed on June 14th in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Case No. 6:12-cv-1702) and currently pending in an Actos multidistrict litigation, centralized before Judge Rebecca F. Doherty (MDL No. 6:11-md-2299) names the following as defendants: Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and Eli Lilly and Co. Jerrold S. Parker, founding partner of Parker Waichman, has been appointed to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee.
The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff took Actos from 2006 to 2008, and developed bladder cancer around 2007. The lawsuit also claims 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; and that the defendants never adequately issued warnings about Actos, despite being aware of the drug’s potential link to bladder cancer.
The link was announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last June in an agency Safety Announcement. According to data from an ongoing 10-year study conducted by Kaiser Permanente, patients taking Actos for one year were 40 percent likelier to develop bladder cancer compared to patient who were never exposed. The announcement also informed of Actos’ subsequent label change to address this risk.
Just days before the FDA announced the label update, Actos was pulled from the market in France and Germany. According to the complaint, the decision was based on a French study that followed over 1.5 million patients with diabetes for four years; those findings indicated a significant increased risk for bladder cancer among male Actos patients after one year of use.
This April, Health Canada also modified the label on Actos warning about the potential increased risk of bladder cancer. Late last month, Canadian researchers published a study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) showing that patients who used Actos for two years were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer.
Most recently, a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found a 22 percent increased risk of bladder cancer when taking Actos. The findings were based on data from over 2.6 million patients in 10 different studies.
As we’ve previously written, since the FDA issued its Actos bladder cancer warning, Takeda Pharmaceuticals has been named in a number of U.S. lawsuits that accuse it of concealing knowledge of Actos’ bladder cancer risks and failing to adequately warn consumer and health care providers about its association with bladder cancer.
Although most Actos bladder cancer lawsuits have been consolidated in the multidistrict litigation in U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana, legal experts estimate that Takeda could face as many as 10,000 Actos bladder cancer lawsuits in the U.S.