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Minnesota Plaintiff Needed Surgery for Actos Bladder Cancer

In a lawsuit filed on May 25, 2012 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, plaintiff George Geogleris of Minnesota alleges that Actos caused his bladder cancer, requiring him to undergo surgery.

According to his lawsuit, Geogleris was prescribed Actos for his type 2 diabetes in or around February, 2011 and was subsequently diagnosed with bladder cancer and required surgery. He discontinued using Actos in September 2011.

The plaintiff’s lawsuit alleges that Actos manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals is liable for failing to warn patients and doctors of the risk of Actos bladder cancer. It wasn’t until June 15, 2011 that the FDA issued a public warning that “use of the diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone) for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer”, and ordered the Actos warning label to be updated to reflect this information.

In his lawsuit, the plaintiff argues that he could not have known about the risk of bladder cancer when he first began taking Actos, and that he would not have used the drug had he been properly informed of its risks. His lawsuit brings counts of strict liability and negligence.

Studies show increase in bladder cancer among Actos users

The FDA issued its warning after evaluating the five-year interim results of a planned 10-year epidemiological study which found that patients who used Actos (pioglitazone) for more than 12 months had a 40 percent increased risk of bladder cancer.

In June 2011, the same month the FDA issued its warning, the regulatory agency in France published a report that likewise found that use of pioglitazone increases the risk of bladder cancer, and that the risk increases in patients who use it for longer than 12 months. Actos was then recalled in France, and both the European Medicine Agency and Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical devices suspended sales of Actos.

Takeda Enjoyed Actos Sales of $4.8 Billion in One Year, Lawsuit States

In contrast to France and Germany, there has been no Actos recall in the U.S., where, according to Geogleris’ lawsuit, Actos is one of Takeda’s top-selling drugs, garnering $4.8 billion in global sales “in the past year” and accounting for approximately 27 percent of the pharmaceutical company’s revenue.

Geogleris is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages.

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