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Lawsuit Filed that Alleges Actos Caused Arizona Man's Bladder Cancer

Jun 13, 2013

Another lawsuit has been brought over alleged injuries associated with the Type 2 diabetes medication Actos. This lawsuit was filed on behalf of an Arizona man who developed bladder cancer after taking Actos (pioglitazone) for several years. The lawsuit holds Takeda and other Actos manufacturers responsible for failing to warn about side effects associated with the drug.

This lawsuit joins thousands that have been consolidated into an Actos multidistrict litigation (MDL). Actos was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999.

According to the complaint, the man began taking Actos for his Type 2 diabetes in March 2003; in November 2008 he was diagnosed with bladder cancer, allegedly due to the side effects associated with taking Actos. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants were aware of the increased risks for bladder cancer associated with Actos but did not disclose this information to consumers to protect their financial interests and that Actos caused the man pain and suffering, emotional distress, and economic damages in the form of medical expenses and lost wages, and seeks damages for loss of consortium on behalf of the plaintiff’s spouse.

In June 2011, the FDA warned that taking Actos for more than one year could significantly increase risks for bladder cancer; the safety label on Actos was updated to address this risk. Other research also supports the link between Actos and bladder cancer. Last May, a study published in the British Medical Journal revealed that Actos users were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer after taking the medication for two years. That July, the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that patients taking Actos were 22 percent likelier to develop bladder cancer.

Some bladder cancer symptoms include blood in the urine, frequent urination, or experiencing pain when urinating. Testing the urine for blood or abnormal cells and undergoing a bladder cytoscopy to view the bladder and obtain cells are generally how the presence of bladder cancer is confirmed, WebMD says. If confirmed, the stage of the bladder cancer determines the treatment, which may include surgery to remove the cancer, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells, immunotherapy to attack bladder cancer cells, and/or bladder removal. Because bladder cancer is known for its stubborn ability to return, ongoing testing and early diagnosis are critical.

In the first of some 3,000 Actos injury lawsuits to go to trial, jurors found Takeda Pharmaceutical must pay $6.5 million in damages to a California man. The 79-year-old plaintiff who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2011 had taken Actos for more than four years. In fact, his case was heard on an expedited basis due to his grave condition. The jurors said that Takeda neglected to adequately warn consumers that Actos could cause cancer, according to the The South China Morning Post.

Parker Waichman LLP filed this lawsuit on May 23, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (case no. 6:13-cv-1235), where it is one of thousands of cases filed into the MDL entitled In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation (6:11-md-2299). Takeda Pharmaceuticals, America; Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. f/k/a Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; and Eli Lilly and Company have been named as defendants.

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