The national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, just filed a lawsuit alleging that the Type 2 diabetes medication, Actos (pioglitazone), caused bladder cancer and the subsequent wrongful death of a Florida man.
The lawsuit was filed on November 14th in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (Case 6:12-cv-02886-RFD-PJH) and is one of the many cases that have been filed into the multidistrict litigation known as In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 6:11-md-2299). Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., 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.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff’s decedent husband began taking Actos in April 2011 and subsequently developed bladder cancer; he died in May 2012, as an alleged result of having taken Actos. The lawsuit seeks compensation for damages suffered by the Florida man, including his extensive pain and suffering, his severe emotional distress, and his subsequent reduced ability to enjoy life.
The suit also alleges that the injuries and damages suffered by the plaintiff’s decedent are a direct result of using Actos and that the defendants knew Actos could cause bladder cancer but neglected to warn consumers or the public about these risks.
Last summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that using Actos for more than one year could significantly raise the risk of developing bladder cancer. The safety information on the Actos label was updated to include this warning, which was based on data from ongoing 10-year study that was conducted by Kaiser Permanente.
Actos lost its patent in August, which enabled generic versions of the drug to be made available. According to Consumer Reports, however, both the generic versions and the brand name, Actos, should only be used as a last resort for patients who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, as several safer options are available.
Also, in August, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute confirmed that the long-term use of Actos and other similar medications was associated with an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. The month prior, a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that patients taking Actos were 22 percent likelier to develop bladder cancer.