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Pennsylvania Man Diagnosed with Bladder Cancer after Taking Actos, Lawsuit Filed

Feb 13, 2013

A Pennsylvania man has become the latest to claim that taking the type 2 diabetes drug Actos has resulted in him being stricken with bladder cancer.

A lawsuit has been filed on his behalf in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. The claim will be consolidated with other similar filings in the last year as part of a growing Actos Multidistrict Litigation [In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 6:11-md-2299)]. The man has sided with the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP, a leading firm in representing other victims of Actos-related bladder cancer. Jerrold S. Parker, a founding partner at the firm, was recently named to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee in this MDL.

An MDL is formed often when numerous lawsuits are filed and make similar claims against a particular product or person. Similar lawsuits are consolidated in one courtroom for the expediting of pre-trial motions, especially regarding the admission of evidence and witnesses that can and cannot be used in any future trials. In this case, a growing number of diabetics who were prescribed Actos to regulate blood sugar levels and treat symptoms of the disease believe that Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, the companies responsible for creating and marketing the drug in the U.S., respectively, were aware of this life-threatening side effect to taking Actos but failed to warn the public of this danger.

In this most recent case, the Pennsylvania man claims he was prescribed Actos in August 2009 but less than two years later, in March 2011, was diagnosed with life-threatening bladder cancer. He claims in his lawsuit, like other victims of this side effect, that he never would have agreed to take Actos had he been aware of this particular danger. In his complaint against Takeda and Eli Lilly, the Pennsylvania man is “suing for severe mental and physical pain and suffering, permanent injuries, emotional distress and economic loss due to medical expenses and living-related expenses due to a new lifestyle,” according to a Parker Waichman release announcing the lawsuit.

Although Actos has been a leading treatment for type 2 diabetics for several years and claims allege that it has been known for some time that taking the drug could result in bladder cancer, it was not until 2011 that the Food and Drug Administration acknowledged this risk. The agency cited data from the research firm Kaiser Permanente that showed taking Actos for more than a year or at its highest doses could significantly increase the risk a person would develop bladder cancer.

More recently, according to information provided by the law firm, a study in British Medical Journal showed that taking Actos for two years meant that diabetics were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer compared to people not taking the drug.

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