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Widow Sues Takeda After Husband’s Actos Bladder Cancer Death

The widow of a man who died of bladder cancer after taking Actos for three years has sued Takeda Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of the diabetes drug.

The widow, Norma Faique of North Carolina, filed her lawsuit on September 28, 2012 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, where it joined the Actos mass tort established there to consolidate litigation involving Actos at the state level. Numerous Illinois plaintiffs have joined the mass tort to seek compensation for their injuries and medical expenses caused by their use of the drug. Plaintiffs hold Takeda liable for not informing patients and doctors of the risk of Actos bladder cancer.

Plaintiff brings 18 counts against drug manufacturer

According to Norma Faique’s lawsuit, her husband John Faique began taking Actos in 2007 by prescription to treat his Type II diabetes. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in October 2010, and died a month later on November 10, 2010.

Norma Faique alleges that her husband’s bladder cancer was caused by Actos, and that if Takeda had adequately warned of the drug’s risks, her husband would never have taken it. She brings 18 counts against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, including wrongful death, strict liability, and negligence.

FDA warning about Actos

Seven months after John Faique’s death, on June 15, 2011, the FDA issued a warning about Actos bladder cancer which read “use of the diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone) for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.” John Faique took Actos for three years, unaware of the risk of long-term use of the drug.

The FDA’s warning was based on the agency’s evaluation of interim data at the five-year mark of a 10-year cohort study of 193,099 diabetes patients. The study found that patients who used Actos for longer than 12 months had a 40 percent increased risk of developing bladder cancer.

Actos has been recalled in France and Germany, but despite the known risk of bladder cancer from the drug, there has been no Actos recall in the United States. Actos remains a top seller for Takeda, with reported worldwide sales of $4.8 billion in fiscal year 2011, accounting for 27 percent of Takeda’s revenue that year.

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