Bladder Cancer Victims File Actos Lawsuits

The popular prescription drug known as Actos is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in patients across the country. Actos is the generic form of pioglitazone, which helps the body improve its use of insulin. The drug has gained popularity among doctors and patients because of its effectiveness, but has recently come under scrutiny after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that it could potentially increase the risk of bladder cancer and heart attacks in users.

Starting in 2010, several studies found that Actos was linked to an increased rate of bladder cancer in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

In June 2011, the FDA issued a warning about Actos. In the statement, the FDA warned that patients who had taken Actos for more than one year had an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Due to the number of serious side effects associated with Actos, such as bladder cancer, many lawsuits are being filed across the country against the manufacturer of Actos, Takeda Pharmaceuticals. In addition to the increased risk of bladder cancer, there are other detrimental side effects associated with Actos, which include increased risk of heart diseases and diabetic macular edema.

Five days after the FDA issued the warning, Germany and France recalled Actos from their markets.

In May 2012, a British Medical Journal study concluded that taking Actos for two years can double the risk of developing bladder cancer. Research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in July 2012, concluded that patients taking Actos have a 22 percent increased risk of developing bladder cancer.  Although Actos has been pulled from the market in both Germany and France, it is still available in the United States, although the FDA issued a black box warning on Actos (pioglitazone), which is the strongest warning a drug can receive.

Actos is one of the most popular diabetes drugs in the world. Recently, studies have shown that Actos use is linked to bladder cancer. These studies show that the longer one takes Actos, the greater the risk of developing bladder cancer.  Specifically, the study revealed that patients taking the drug for more than a year had a 40 percent higher risk of developing Actos bladder cancer.  As a result of this scientific evidence, the FDA issued warnings regarding Actos and bladder cancer.

Patients who took Actos, ActosPlusMet, ActosPlusMet XR, or Duetact and who were diagnosed with bladder cancer may have legal recourse. According to an FDA safety announcement concerning Actos and bladder cancer, patients taking pioglitazone, an ingredient found in these diabetic drugs, for more than a year, may have an increased risk of developing cancerous tumors of the bladder. It has been alleged that the drug maker, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, withheld information about the Actos bladder cancer risk and failed to provide adequate warnings with its diabetes drug.

Because of the large number of patients who have suffered injuries from Actos, a multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been set up. The lawsuit is not a class action; rather, each qualifying individual will seek damages consistent with the merits of his or her individual case.

The panel, which combined these lawsuits, released a statement saying, “Centralization in the Western District of Louisiana will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation.” Combining the cases has also allowed them to “assign the litigation to an experienced judge who sits in a district in which no other multi district litigation is pending.” This is a preferred method of litigating multiple lawsuits with similar claims by parties, to promote judicial economy.

Actos lawsuits pending in a federal MDL are now underway in U.S. District Courts Western District of Louisiana and continue to move forward. According to the Court’s calendar, the next Status Conference in the federal Actos bladder cancer litigation has been scheduled for December 13, 2012. The lawsuit alleges that Takeda Pharmaceuticals and other defendants concealed knowledge that Actos increases the risk of bladder cancer and failed to provide patients with adequate warnings regarding the risk. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation established the consolidated litigation in anticipation of a large number of Actos lawsuit filings in federal courts throughout the U.S.

The judge who is overseeing the Actos MDL suit in Louisiana extended the deadline for plaintiffs to file suit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The judge cited the large number of cases expected to be filed and the necessity of gathering enough information in each case. The first Actos trial will be in November 2014.

It is estimated that up to 10,000 Americans may be eligible to file an Actos bladder cancer lawsuit. Anyone who has been diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos, may seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages associated with their bladder cancer.

For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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