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Kentucky man's death blamed on type 2 diabetes drug Actos in Parker Waichman lawsuit

Jan 1, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP

The death of a Kentucky man due to bladder cancer is being blamed on the type 2 diabetes drug Actos in a federal lawsuit recently filed on behalf of his estate.

The Plaintiff-Decedent is being represented by the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP and the lawsuit has been filed to be added to Multidistrict Litigation involving Actos bladder cancer injuries in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. (Case No. 6:12-cv-01710, MDL No. 6:11-md-2299). Parker Waichman LLP represents several victims of Actos-related bladder cancer. It names Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, and Eli Lilly and Co. as Defendants. 

In it, a Kentucky man suffering from type 2 diabetes is alleged to have taken Actos to regulate blood glucose levels between 2010 and 2011. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer during that time and he died of the disease in November 2011. Prior to his death, the claim alleges, the man endured severe mental and physical pain due to side effects of taking Actos and caused by bladder cancer. 

Like other lawsuits making similar claims that Actos caused bladder cancer, this alleges that Takeda Pharmaceuticals knew that taking the drug, especially at high doses, could cause bladder cancer but no one who has filed a similar lawsuit had ever been warned of this obviously dangerous side effect. They all claim Takeda was aware of the risk associated with the drug but intentionally failed to warn the public or federal regulators, fearing how it could impact sales.

Actos has been a leading treatment for type 2 diabetes, a disease suffered by an alarmingly increasing number of American adults and children. In 2008, a press release from the firm states, Actos was the tenth-best selling drug in the U.S., and it accounts for more than one-fourth of Takeda's annual drug sales revenue. Sales of the drug likely rose when it supplanted the previous top-selling diabetes drug, Avandia, after access to it became severely restricted by the Food and Drug Administration after it had been linked to too many reports of heart attacks, stroke, and death. While Actos is believed to carry those same risks, too, its link to bladder cancer is unique and as more people take the drug, it is likely more face the risk of developing bladder cancer.

The FDA announced in September 2010 that people taking Actos, especially at high doses and for longer periods of time, face a risk of developing bladder cancer. That announcement was on the heels of the release of a Kaiser Permanente study that found people taking Actos faced a "significantly increased risk" of developing bladder cancer.

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