Actos Litigation Update

Thousands of patients who have been prescribed the diabetes drug, Actos, have filed lawsuits for serious adverse side effects after taking the drug for more than one year.

Actos (pioglitazone) is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals for treatment of Type 2 diabetes and has been on the market since 1999.

In June 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the public that Actos usage for more than one year has an increased risk of bladder cancer.  Takeda is currently in a class of insulin-sensitizing drugs known as thiazolidinediones and was approved by the FDA for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.  Actos has been included in the top ten best-selling medications for many years, in the U.S. since it gained FDA approval.

Takeda’s failure to adequately warn consumers of the increased risk of bladder cancer and failure to warn about other potential medical problems, makes them potentially liable.

There have been more than 1,500 lawsuits filed in the Actos multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is pending before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty in the Western District of Louisiana.  Earlier this year, the Judge issued a scheduling order setting out litigation deadlines for plaintiffs and defendants for the first two Actos bladder cancer trials scheduled in the MDL in January and April 2014.

India has recently decided to suspend the sale of Actos in that country.

Just last month, the bellwether case selections have been made. Bellwether trial processes involve just bringing to trial a small sampling of cases, large enough to produce reliable results. The verdicts are used by lawyers on both sides, as well as by the judge, as a basis for resolving or evaluating the claims that remain.

The Actos MDL bellwether process involves taking two cases to trial, one selected by each side. The process is repeated until a resolution of the claims can be reached, if possible.

There are hundreds of cases pending in state courts across the country, aside from the Actos MDL. The first Actos trial concluded earlier this year in a California state court. The jury in that case found that Takeda failed to warn of potentially severe side effects, awarding the Plaintiff $6.5 million in damages.  Unfortunately, after the jury verdict was handed down, the trial judge excluded the Plaintiff’s expert witness testimony and threw out the damage award.

Some medical experts believe that the FDA should issue a recall of Actos since it poses such a risk to diabetic patients and that updated warnings should be included on labels. France and Germany have already pulled the drug from their markets, and more recently, India also has decided not to sell this drug any longer.

The risks caused by Actos are still present and it is not too late to pursue your case.  If you or a loved one experienced bladder cancer after taking Actos for Type 2 diabetes, feel free to contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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