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First Trial over Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuits Set to Begin

Feb 2, 2014

The first Actos bladder cancer bellwether trial is taking place this Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Plaintiffs’ Terence and Susan Allen will be the first of 2,700 cases going to trial in the federal litigation. Their lawsuit alleges that Terence’s bladder cancer was caused by Actos, a Type 2 diabetes drug, which he took between 2004 and 2011. Defendant Takeda Pharmaceutical allegedly knew that Actos increased the risk of bladder cancer, but failed to disclose this information.

The bellwether trial is expected to last six weeks. Its outcome will help shape the future of the litigation, entitled In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2299).

Parker Waichman LLP has held a plaintiffs’ leadership role throughout the litigation. Firm co-founder Jerrold S. Parker serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. According to court documents, the jury for the trial was selected on January 27th. Parker Waichman represents numerous individuals in the litigation and continues to offer free legal advice for Actos patients who developed bladder cancer.

Plaintiffs in the litigation allege that Actos is a defective drug that increases the risk of bladder cancer, noting a large number of studies that show this link. In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the risk of bladder cancer was significantly higher in patients who used Actos for more than one year. In May 2012, the British Medical Journal found that Actos users were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer after two years. The Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study that July showing that Actos patients were 22 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer.

Allegedly, Takeda was aware that Actos could increase the likelihood of bladder cancer but hid these risks for financial gain. According to Bloomberg, Actos sales accounted for 27 percent of the company’s revenue in March 2011, peaking at $4.5 billion.

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