Actos (pioglitazone) continues to be named in lawsuits alleging long-term use of the type 2 diabetes drug caused patients to develop bladder cancer. Just last week, the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP filed suit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals on behalf of a West Virginia man who developed bladder cancer after using Actos for several years.
According to the Actos bladder cancer lawsuit, the Plaintiff was prescribed and began taking Actos in 2005. Several years later, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. The lawsuit alleges that because of his use of Actos, the Plaintiff sustained severe, permanent and life-threatening personal injuries, pain, suffering, emotional distress, and lifelong fear of premature death. It further alleges that because of his use of Actos, the Plaintiff will require continued lifelong monitoring, treatment and medications.
This past June, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication stating that use of Actos for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer concerns also caused regulators in France and Germany to suspend sales of Actos in those countries over the summer. Takeda officially recalled Actos from the French market in July.
Since last summer, scores of people throughout the U.S. have filed bladder lawsuits against Takeda. As we’ve reported previously, all federally filed Actos bladder cancer lawsuits were ordered transferred to U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana, by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in December. Plaintiffs in the Actos multidistrict litigation accuse Takeda Pharmaceuticals and other defendants of concealing knowledge of Actos’ bladder cancer risks and failing to adequately warn consumer and health care providers about its association with bladder cancer.
Parker Waichman LLP recently called upon the FDA to take stronger action in regards to action. In a statement issued last week, the firm called on the FDA to compel Takeda Pharmaceuticals,to issues its own Actos bladder cancer warning to doctors in the U.S. Parker Waichman LLP pointed out that Takeda Canada Inc. recently collaborated with Health Canada on a warning to health care providers in that country. In a letter dated April 16 and signed by Dr. Brad Pamenter, Vice President of Medical and Scientific Affairs for Takeda Canada, the company acknowledged that findings from new studies reveal that there is a potential increased risk of bladder cancer in patients treated with pioglitazone-containing products.
“We are hopeful that the FDA will take the strongest action possible to protect patients by requiring Takeda to directly notify the physicians of serious adverse events associated with taking Actos,” Daniel Burke, an attorney at Parker Waichman LLP, said in the firm’s statement.