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Actos Lawsuit Alleges Willful Concealment of Risks

On February 17, 2012, Simon Milton Harvey filed a claim in Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of diabetes medication Actos. He alleges that the company knew of the risk of bladder cancer from Actos before they released the drug to the U.S. market. As a result of what the plaintiff’s Actos lawyer describes as “severe mental and physical pain and suffering,” the plaintiff requests damages of $50,000.

Actos lawsuit alleges wanton malice

According to plaintiff, Takeda “willfully, wantonly and with malice withheld the knowledge” they had regarding risks of bladder cancer, in order to prevent potential delays for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the drug.

According to his Actos attorney, in April 2006, Harvey began taking Actos to treat his diabetes type II; he continued treatment until April 2009. Around August 2010, Harvey was diagnosed with Actos bladder cancer.

According to his lawsuit, the plaintiff was unaware of the risks associated with Actos, since the FDA did not require updates to the Actos warning label until a year after Harvey was diagnosed with cancer. The plaintiff’s Actos lawyer contends that, had Harvey understood the risks, he would not have taken Actos, since other medications to treat type II diabetes have proven as effective and safer.

Unpublished study of Actos side effects

Harvey’s lawsuit cites studies into Actos side effects, including research that revealed elevated risks of bladder cancer in patients who took the drug, compared to those who did not.

Harvey’s Actos lawyer contends that the study’s results were never published, since Takeda did not want to stall the FDA product registration process. Additionally, the lawsuit states that Takeda is still selling Actos within the U.S., despite the Actos recall in several European countries and an FDA warning regarding Actos bladder cancer.

Actos bladder cancer lawsuits growing in number

Lawsuit numbers continue to increase around the United States. In Cook County Circuit Court, where Harvey filed his complaint, dozens of plaintiffs have filed similar lawsuits.

On December 8, 2011, 26 plaintiffs filed a complaint, contending that they suffer from Actos side effects, including bladder cancer. The June 2001 FDA warning stated that Actos demonstrated links to bladder cancer, especially in patients taking the medication for more than 12 months.

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