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Actos Lawsuit Argues Takeda Knew of Bladder Cancer Risk

A new Actos lawsuit filed in Illinois alleges use of the diabetes drug for three years led to his bladder cancer diagnosis and ongoing injuries. The complaint joins hundreds of others in state and federal courts, filed by plaintiffs who allege Actos consumption led to bladder cancer and other serious side effects.

Details of recent Actos lawsuit

This recent Actos lawsuit was filed by Jerry and Roxanne Foley on August 13, 2013. The complaint was brought against Actos manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois. The plaintiffs state that Jerry Foley began taking Actos in 2010 as prescribed by his physician, for long-term treatment of type II diabetes. Actos is used to make the body more sensitive to insulin, for more effective management of blood sugar levels.

Jerry Foley claims he took Actos from 2010 until 2013. In 2013, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. The plaintiff states in his complaint he has suffered “serious consequences from long-term Actos use,” which include physical pain, mental anguish, and permanent, disfiguring injuries. He has also suffered economic loss due to his Actos bladder cancer diagnosis, and his wife, Roxanne Foley, has lost the companionship and services of her spouse due to his injuries.

Link between Actos and bladder cancer documented in studies

The link between Actos and an increased bladder cancer risk is not new. The Foleys’ complaint cites carcinogenic studies on the drug prior to FDA approval that showed drug-induced tumors were observed in male rats given clinical doses of Actos. In 2005, another study examining the link between Actos and cardiovascular events found a heightened incidence of bladder cancer in test subjects taking the drug.

Despite these findings, Takeda failed to notify the general public or the medical community about the heightened risk, according to these plaintiffs. In fact, the company “willfully, wantonly and with malice” withheld study results to prevent a delay or rejection in the product’s registration. The drug was approved by the FDA for treatment of type II diabetes in the U.S. in 1999.

FDA warning too late for many Actos users

By 2010, the FDA had become concerned about reports of bladder cancer linked to long-term Actos use. In April, 2011, the agency issued a drug safety communication warning physicians and Actos users that use of the drug for longer than one year could lead to an increased risk of bladder cancer. A subsequent study in 2012, published in the British Medical Journal, found that taking Actos for two years or longer doubled a patient’s risk for bladder cancer. Unfortunately, those findings did not lead to an Actos recall by Takeda, even though recalls in France and Germany had already been issued.

Many patients who suffered serious side effects from the drug have now sought help from an Actos lawyer to pursue damages against Takeda. Federal cases against the company have been coordinated into multidistrict litigation in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. That caseload now exceeds 1,200 lawsuits. In addition, around 2,000 complaints are pending in state course across the country.

One of those cases was filed by the Foleys, after Jerry Foley was diagnosed with cancer earlier in 2013. Foley asserts in his lawsuit that he never would have agreed to take the medication in 2010 if he had known then of the dangerous side effects of Actos. He is now seeking damages from Takeda in excess of $50,000 to compensate him for his pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages, and medical bills.