Lawsuits Involving Actos-Related Bladder Cancer
Actos was marketed as an effective diabetes medication when it was first introduced in the early 2000s. Offering a way to control blood glucose levels without the risk of side effects, Actos was welcomed by the medical community as well as patients looking for a medication to ease the symptoms of what is a difficult condition.
Far from being totally safe however, Actos has actually been found to cause another serious condition: bladder cancer. If you–like thousands of other diabetes patients who took Actos–have developed bladder cancer, you may be able to file a lawsuit for damages resulting from the use of the drug.
Actos increases risk of bladder cancer
In studies conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug administration, it was found that patients who took Actos for one year or longer in order to control their blood sugar levels had an increased risk of developing bladder cancer compared to diabetes patients that opted for other medications.
Even before the results of the studies were released, two countries in Europe have already banned Actos, although the European Medicines Agency has yet to announce a definitive set of guidelines with regard to the use of the drug.
Higher risk for patients who take Actos longer
Many of the patients that have filed lawsuits against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.–the company that manufactures Actos–are those that have taken the drug for a year or more. Analysis of a five years’ worth of clinical data reveals that the patients at greater risk of incurring bladder cancer are those that have been exposed to the drug for longer and more continuous periods.
With the filing of hundreds of lawsuits against the manufacturers of Actos, it has become the second thiazolidinedione medication to have been linked with dangerous side effects, with the other being Avandia. Linked to an increased incidence of heart attack in patients who took it, Avandia was itself the subject of numerous lawsuits.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. denial of health risks
Officials of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. have consistently denied that there is a link between the use of Actos and the development of bladder cancer. However, there are reports that company officials were actually aware of the risks of taking the drug, but have routinely sought to cover these up from federal regulatory bodies.
One such report stated that officials of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. were aware of the dangers of the drug since 2004, but only revealed these findings to U.S. regulatory bodies in 2011. While the company’s sales of Actos reached its high point in 2011, the revelation of its health risks with regard to bladder cancer have caused sales of the drug to fall. In the wake of impending investigations into the risk of Actos, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. has since been granted approval for an alternative diabetes medication called Nesina.
If you are a diabetic who has taken Actos in the past, and have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and possibly even the doctor and treatment facility that prescribed the use of the drug. Bladder cancer is a potentially deadly condition, and there is a high incidence of recurrence. The symptoms of the condition are also usually very difficult to detect until the condition has progressed to an advanced stage.
At present, over 3,000 lawsuits have been filed against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. for bladder cancer related to the use of Actos. Of these, over 1,200 have been consolidated in a Louisiana federal court to facilitate the exchange of information before the cases go to trial.