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Actos Side Effects Lawsuit Alleges Drug Caused Bladder Cancer

A plaintiff has filed an Actos side effects lawsuit, alleging use of the diabetes drug led to his bladder cancer diagnosis. The recent filing joins hundreds of others in multidistrict litigation in United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Plaintiffs involved in these coordinated proceedings have all claimed that Actos led to an increased risk of bladder cancer, and that Actos manufacturer Takeda failed to warn the medical community and consumers about this risk.

Years of Actos use led to bladder cancer diagnosis

The plaintiff, Roland D. Roush, filed his Actos side effects lawsuit on August 2, 2013. Roush claims that he took Actos for a number of years to treat type II diabetes. As a direct result of his Actos ingestion, Roush claims he developed bladder cancer. That diagnosis, according to the plaintiff, caused “physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.” In addition, Roush suffered significant economic loss as a result of ongoing medical expenses, and he will continue to require medical monitoring for the rest of his life.

Actos was approved by the FDA in 1999 for the treatment of type II diabetes. According to Roush’s complaint, this is the most common type of diabetes diagnosed in the U.S. today. It occurs when the body does not produce sufficient insulin or does not use the insulin that is produced efficiently. Actos works to regulate sugar levels in the body by making it more sensitive to the insulin that is produced naturally.

Studies and FDA warning

Unfortunately, reports of serious Actos side effects, including heart failure and bladder cancer, began coming from patients that had used the diabetes drug. In addition, studies as early as 2005 showed a link between the drug and a heightened risk of bladder cancer. In 2012, two studies published in the British Medical Journal and the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that taking Actos raised the risk for bladder cancer.

In 2011, the FDA issued a drug safety communication, alerting the medical community and general public to an increased risk of bladder cancer for patients who took Actos for longer than one year. The FDA based their warning on review of data from a five-year analysis that showed patients who took Actos longer had a greater bladder cancer risk. The agency also cited a French study that showed an increased risk for bladder cancer, and resulted in France suspending sales of the diabetes drug. However, no Actos recall has been issued in the United States at this time.

After the FDA study was released, the number of individuals filing an Actos side effects lawsuit began to increase. As more complaints were filed across the country, the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation coordinated federal cases into a single location, in the Western District of Louisiana. Multidistrict litigation, or an MDL, is established to streamline early steps in the legal process, by preventing duplicate discovery and conflicting rulings in different courts.

Actos lawsuits continue to grow nationwide

At this time, more than 3,000 Actos lawsuits have been filed against Takeda nationwide, with more than 1,200 of those coordinated into the Louisiana District Court. Like Roush, plaintiffs in these filings claim they have been diagnosed with bladder cancer after using Actos for an extended period of time. Although bladder cancer is highly treatable when caught in the early stages, the recurrence rate for the disease is also high. This means plaintiffs that have filed lawsuits are likely to require ongoing medical monitoring and live in fear that their cancer could return.

As a result of his injuries, Roush is demanding more than $75,000 in punitive, exemplary, special and economic damages to compensate for his medical bills, physical suffering, and emotional and mental distress. Like others that have filed lawsuits against Takeda, Roush claims he never would have taken Actos if the company had properly warned consumers about the risks associated with their drug.