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New Lawsuit Alleges Actos Caused Bladder Cancer

A new Actos lawsuit filed on November 13 alleges that the drug caused the plaintiff’s bladder cancer. The suit joins many others that charge that the plaintiffs developed bladder cancer as a result of using Actos.

Actos side effects

A study of 193,000 diabetes patients found that patients who used Actos (pioglitazone) for more than 12 months had a 40 percent increased risk of developing bladder cancer, compared to patients who had never been exposed to pioglitazone. The findings prompted the FDA to add a black box warning to Actos in June 2011.

In light of the evidence that Actos causes bladder cancer, France and Germany both banned sales of the medication. However, there has been no Actos recall in the U.S.

In addition to bladder cancer, patients who use Actos have reported other side effects, including headaches, cold-like symptoms, sinus infections, chest pains, shortness of breath, allergic reactions, muscle pain, fatigue, and weight gain. Takeda has been accused of downplaying the severity of such side effects in its reports to the FDA, referring to such side effects as “non-serious.”

Actos litigation

The first civil action against Takeda over Actos occurred in 2010. An employee of the company who was involved in an in-house study of the drug’s side effects filed a complaint claiming that Takeda did not accurately report instances of congestive heart failure that were caused by Actos. The whistleblower’s complaint was dismissed, but in the wake of the allegations, patients who had suffered side effects from the drug began to step forward and file lawsuits. In 2011, the number of lawsuits increased following the release of studies that showed clear evidence that Actos use increased the risk of bladder cancer, the ban on Actos in Germany and France, and the FDA’s public warning about the risk of Actos bladder cancer.

Because of the large number of lawsuits filed against Takeda Pharmaceuticals over Actos, a multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been established to consolidate such cases at the federal level. The Actos MDL, which is based in West Louisiana, will consolidate hundreds of lawsuits.

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