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Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuits on the Rise

Takeda Pharmaceuticals is currently facing hundreds of lawsuits around the country over its best-selling diabetes drug Actos and reports of bladder cancer side effects. In June 2011, the company halted sales of the drug in Germany and France in response to intense pressure from regulators. Here at home in the United States, the FDA has issued a warning about the Actos bladder cancer risk, but the drug continues to remain on the market.

Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuit Update April 8, 2014: In the first U.S. trial of its kind, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly were ordered to pay a total of $9 billion in punitive damages after a jury agreed that the companies failed to warn the public and medical communities about the bladder cancer risk associated with their controversial type 2 diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone). The lawsuit claimed that Takeda and Lilly downplayed or ignored concerns about Actos’ link to bladder cancer, and mislead health authorities in order to protect profits. Click here to learn more.

Free Actos Bladder Cancer Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

What’s the problem?

August 8, 2011 – The controversy surrounding Actos (pioglitazone) could spell disaster for the once-promising Type-II diabetes drug, which was released more than a decade ago amid heavy promotion. Actos was originally considered by many to be a wonder drug – it helped control blood sugar levels effectively, and was thought to have few serious side effects in most patients. Despite later being linked to heart failure and other adverse events, Actos soon became the No. 1 diabetes medication after Avandia, which was found in 2007 to sharply increase the risk of heart attacks. Avandia was subsequently banned in Europe and heavily restricted here in the United States. In 2010 alone, Actos generated more than $4.3 billion in sales for Takeda.

Now those hefty profits may go to Takeda’s rivals. Since news about Actos’s link to bladder cancer broke last month, the first of what many predict will be thousands of lawsuits were filed in courts around the country. The complaints allege that Actos caused bladder cancer – in some cases fatal – in patients who took the medication for an extended period of more than one year.

For its part, Takeda has declined to comment on these developments. However, the pharmaceutical giant has maintained that it is committed to keeping Actos on the market for those diabetics who need it.

The new safety questions will play heavily in determining the future of the medication, particularly since the Actos patent expires next year. It now appears that the drug won’t make nearly as much money as expected until the patent runs out, and prospects for similar experimental drugs that were supposed to succeed Actos have been dampened.

Last month, the FDA analyzed data from an ongoing 10-year Actos safety study Takeda began in 2002 and concluded that the bladder cancer risk was some 40 percent higher for patients taking Actos for longer than a year. The administration has advised healthcare professionals not to prescribe Actos to individuals with bladder cancer, and to use it with extreme caution in patients who have had bladder cancer at some point in the past. Additionally, the administration stated that “the benefits of blood sugar control with pioglitazone should be weighed against the unknown risks for cancer recurrence.”

The FDA is also requiring that new warnings about the risk of bladder cancer from Actos be added to the Warnings and Precautions section of the drug’s labeling. Similar warnings will also be added to other medications that contain pioglitazone including Actoplus Met, ActoplusMet XR and Duetact.

Actos Bladder Cancer: Signs & Symptoms

Bladder cancer begins when normal cells in the bladder begin to change and grow uncontrollably, resulting in a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant, meaning that it can spread to other parts of the body. Potential signs and symptoms of Actos-induced bladder cancer may include (but are not limited to):

  • sensation of needing to urinate without results
  • pain while urinating
  • blood found in the urine
  • frequent urination

Injured by Actos Side Effects? Contact us today.

At Schmidt & Clark, LLP, we believe that when a manufacturer distributes a drug, they owe it to the public to ensure that their product is safe for use. Taking the high number of reports of bladder cancer and other serious side effects into consideration, it appears that Takeda Pharmaceuticals failed to fulfill that fundamental duty when it came to Actos. Click here to read more about Actos from Schmidt & Clark, LLP.

Do You have an Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Actos bladder cancer lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Actos bladder cancer cases in all 50 states.

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