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Bladder Cancer Subject of New Actos Lawsuit

Actos is a drug manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals that was approved by the FDA in 1999 for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The European Medicines Agency approved the drug the following year.

Though a possible link to bladder cancer arose in 2005 clinical trials, it was determined that the cancer could be attributed to other factors. In 2007, the FDA forced the company to update the box label to include the risk of cardiovascular failure. By 2008, Actos was the tenth “most prescribed drug” in the U.S.

Plaintiff Nulin E. Sellers filed an Actos lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals on May 28th, 2013, requesting more than $75,000 in damages. The plaintiff from Cherokee County, Oklahoma filed with the U.S. District Court of Louisiana, where similar cases are being heard.

Details on the latest Actos lawsuit

The plaintiff’s doctor prescribed Actos for him in November 2006 to treat his type 2 diabetes. He was subsequently diagnosed with bladder cancer less than one year later on October 11, 2007. As a result of long-term Actos use, Nulin E. Sellers suffered severe physical injuries, emotional distress and economic loss. Had he known of the risks associated with the product, he never would have consented to taking it, the Actos lawsuit stipulates.

The Actos lawsuit also alleges that, even before receiving FDA approval, a two-year study conducted on male and female rats showed drug-induced tumors caused by Actos. Several other highly publicized studies indicated that Actos posed a much greater bladder cancer risk than competing products during long-term use. France and Germany suspended the use of Actos after their own internal studies confirmed similar findings. The FDA published a safety announcement in June 2011, stating that the use of Actos corresponded with a 40 percent increased risk of bladder cancer.

However, none of this information was passed along to the medical community or the plaintiff himself, and Actos remained a popular treatment available to consumers.

Damages sought by plaintiff

Takeda Pharmaceuticals is being sued for 11 causes of action, including:

  • Manufacturing defect
  • Design defect
  • Inadequate warning
  • Breach of express warranty
  • Breach of warranty of fitness for ordinary use
  • Breach of implied warranty
  • Fraud
  • Fraud by non-disclosure
  • Negligent misrepresentation
  • Negligence

The plaintiff is asking for compensation to cover:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Punitive damages, disgorgement of profits and restitution
  • Attorney fees

Other Actos litigation

In December 2011, Bloomberg News reported that there could be as many as 10,000 Actos lawsuit cases filed. One Actos bladder cancer lawyer said he receives calls about the suit daily from people who were injured by the drug.

The first of at least 3,000 filed cases went to trial at a California courthouse in March 2013. The jury awarded plaintiff Jack Cooper $6.5 million, but the judge threw out the case, stating that Cooper’s Actos bladder cancer lawyer couldn’t prove that the drug had caused the man’s cancer and that jurors shouldn’t be able to issue their own verdict against Takeda.

Cooper’s star witness was called into question and faulted for not reviewing Cooper’s medical records dating back to the seventies and for not considering Cooper’s possible exposure to cancer-causing elements in the workplace. Judge Kenneth Freeman of Los Angeles clarified, “It is evident to the Court that the manner in which Dr. Smith conducted his differential diagnosis is based on speculation, is not reliable, not done with intellectual rigor expected of an expert, and is therefore inadmissible under prevailing California law.”

Though there is sufficient evidence to suggest that Actos is linked to cancer risk, it is up to an experienced Actos lawyer to assemble credible witnesses and show a clear cause-and-effect link between the patient’s use of the drug and the injuries suffered.