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Actos Lawsuit News: MDL 2299 Gains New Bundled Complaint

In Actos lawsuit news, Takeda Pharmaceuticals continues to defend claims that it failed to warn consumers that its flagship type 2 diabetes medication causes a disproportionately high risk for developing bladder cancer. A bundled complaint filed by fourteen plaintiffs recently joined the Actos products liability litigation presently underway in the Western District of Louisiana.

The Actos (Pioglitazone) MDL was established before Judge Rebecca Doherty in federal court to reduce judicial burdens and enable a more streamlined pretrial process, in the hopes of reaching settlements or jury verdicts in a timely and cost-effective manner.

While the joint Actos cancer lawsuit was filed by multiple plaintiffs, who each allege their use of the medication caused them to develop bladder cancer, their complaint is not a class action suit, and each plaintiff will be tried individually based on the specific circumstances and evidence surrounding their case. Court dockets show the lawsuit was filed on September 17, and joined the coordinated proceedings in Louisiana, since allegations are similar to the thousands of other complaints that have been centralized.

Plaintiffs demand fair compensation for their injuries

Just like the thousands of other patients who claim that Actos causes cancer, these plaintiffs argue they would have chosen other prescription medications had they been properly informed about the risks of Actos.

The causes of action listed against Takeda are:

  1. Strict products liability – failure to warn
  2. Strict products liability – defective design
  3. Breach of implied warranty
  4. Breach of express warranty
  5. Breach of implied warranty of merchantability
  6. Fraud and fraudulent concealment
  7. Negligent misrepresentation
  8. Violation of consumer fraud and state deceptive trade practice laws
  9. Loss of consortium (separate damages sought by spouse of plaintiff)

Actos lawsuit news: MDL growing with more than 2,500 claims

The bundled lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs developed “serious and dangerous side effects of Actos,” including bladder cancer. Plaintiffs additionally suffered personal injuries such as physical pain and mental anguish, a diminished enjoyment of life, and a continual fear of future cancer, as bladder cancer has a high recurrence rate. All of the plaintiffs argue that they will need lifelong medical treatment, monitoring and medications to deal with their bladder cancer diagnosis, which they allege is a direct result of the Actos use.

Each of the claimants ingested Actos for the treatment of their Type 2 diabetes mellitus, under the supervision of their physicians – health care providers who relied on the safety representations made by Takeda. The lawsuit contends that the defendants knew or should have known that using Actos caused a risk of dangerous side effects, including bladder cancer and death, but failed to warn the public or medical community of such risks. This risk, the plaintiffs say, was known by Takeda for the past 10 years, as early animal trials showed an increased carcinogenic effect that should have been further explored, or at least made known to the public. However, Takeda chose to ignore and conceal these cancer risks, claim the plaintiffs, placing profits over consumer safety.

Now, Takeda is faced with nearly 3,000 product liability lawsuits alleging their blockbuster diabetes drug is defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, putting patients at needless risk for bladder cancer. The first bellwether trial in the Actos MDL is scheduled to begin on January 27, 2014.

FDA issues warning on Actos bladder cancer risk

Based on medical research and post-marketing reports indicating high rates of Actos bladder cancer, both France and Germany suspended sales of the drug in 2011. That same year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a warning that Actos exposure for one year or longer puts patients at an increased risk for developing bladder cancer – by some accounts up to 40 percent. Despite these potential dangers, the drug is still available in the United States, though thousands of injured patients are pushing for a wide-scale Actos product recall.