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Actos and Bladder Cancer Link Alleged by Plaintiffs

Pharmaceutical companies are required to fully disclose the risks and side effects of their medications. When they fail to do so, patients often suffer catastrophic consequences. Many diabetes patients have filed complaints against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, alleging that its drug, Actos (pioglitazone hydrochloride) is unreasonably dangerous and defective in design.

Such allegations comprise the basis for an Actos injury lawsuit recently filed by a couple from Henderson, Nevada. Donald and Carmen Laconto filed the complaint on September 19, 2013.

Actos injury lawsuit joins MDL

The lawsuit was directly filed into the Actos multidistrict litigation (MDL) No. 2299 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana before Judge Doherty. This action was pursuant to a previous order in effect. However, the attorney for the plaintiffs has requested that the lawsuit be transferred to federal court in Nevada instead.

Should the lawsuit remain in its current venue, it will proceed as part of a mass litigation effort against Takeda. MDLs such as this one are created to centralize similar complaints against a common defendant to improve efficiency in the litigation process. If the complaint remains in the MDL, the plaintiffs will retain their right to their own individual trial.

Plaintiff alleges complications despite proper use

According to the plaintiffs’ Actos injury lawsuit, Donald Laconto began taking the medication in July 2007. He used the drug in accordance with the instructions provided by his physician until he discontinued it in June 2012. In July 2012, the plaintiff was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

The complaint notes that the plaintiff has experienced significant emotional distress and physical disability as a result of his diagnosis. Although the plaintiff did not disclose his bladder cancer treatment regimen in the lawsuit, this disease often requires radical treatments such as the surgical removal of part or all of the bladder, resulting in significant lifestyle changes.

It is possible that the plaintiff may have also undergone radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy, both of which can cause significant physical distress. In addition to Donald Laconto’s physical disability, he alleges significant and ongoing economic losses as a result of his medical expenses and ongoing care needs.

Substantive bladder cancer studies noted in complaint

Actos was approved by the FDA in 1999 to treat type 2 diabetes. It is an insulin-sensitizing diabetes drug called a thiazolidinedione. Although the drug was initially hailed as an effective treatment for diabetes, patients and healthcare professionals later became aware of the link between Actos and the development of bladder cancer. This Actos injury lawsuit cites several clinical studies and FDA warnings  that substantiate this connection.

One such study is a two-year study that involved male and female rats who received the drug. The researchers found that the male rats developed tumors after receiving Actos. A three-year study, known as the PROactive study, was designed to evaluate instances of adverse cardiovascular complications in patients taking Actos. However, when the researchers examined their data, they found that these patients had an increase in bladder cancer diagnoses.

Defendants face a slew of allegations

The first cause of action listed in the Laconto lawsuit is negligence. The complaint contends that the defendants had a responsibility to “exercise reasonable care in designing” the drug and “a duty to assure that Actos and pioglitazone hydrochloride would not cause users to suffer unreasonable, dangerous side effects such as cancer.”

The lawsuit alleges that despite the defendants’ knowledge of the dangerous side effects of Actos, they continued to manufacture and market it without adequately warning patients such as Donald Laconto of the potential for bladder cancer. Along with the allegation of failure to warn, the lawsuit claims that Actos is defective in design and is “inherently dangerous.”