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Louisiana man claims bladder cancer a result of taking type 2 diabetes drug Actos

Jun 22, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP

A Louisiana man is the latest to claim the type 2 diabetes drug Actos caused him to develop bladder cancer.

He has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana against the makers of the drug, Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals, for failing to warn him and the public about the risk of bladder cancer associated with it. The lawsuit also names Eli Lilly and other companies associated with the drug as Defendants. He is being represented by the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP, which represents several other victims of Actos-related bladder cancer, and is serving a leading role in the litigation. The co-founder of the firm, Jerrold S. Parker, has been named to the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee in the MDL.

This lawsuit is being added to a growing Multidistrict Litigation involving victims nationwide who claim they have suffered or have been put at risk of developing life-threatening bladder cancer after taking Actos to control their blood glucose levels. Millions of prescriptions for Actos have been written since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration and each patient likely was never warned that the drug could result in a bladder cancer diagnosis.

The Louisiana man represented by this lawsuit claims he took Actos as a treatment for type 2 diabetes from 2007 until 2011. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2009 but was not aware that the drug had likely caused the disease. His lawsuit seeks damages for "mental and physical pain and suffering, past and future permanent injuries and emotional distress, economic loss due to medical expenses and living related expenses as a result of a new lifestyle."

The man claims he would never have agreed to take Actos had he known it could cause bladder cancer. Last year, the FDA ruled that patients taking Actos were at a greater risk of bladder cancer than people taking other drugs as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. Labels of the new drug now indicate this risk.

Actos has become one of the leading type 2 diabetes drugs available to those suffering from the disease. Millions of Americans have developed type 2 diabetes in the last two decades due to varying reasons and are seeking a treatment for the disease that can lead to heart disease and heart-related death. Patients taking Actos for more than a year are 40 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer.

The drug replaced Avandia as the top-selling drug in this class of drugs after regulators strictly limited access to it because it carried a serious risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. Similar concerns surround Actos, though research on the drug was limited due to Avandia's popularity and the research dedicated to it while it was widely available on the market.

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