In June of 2011, the FDA announced that patients taking the diabetes drug Actos for more than a year may have an increased risk of Bladder Cancer.
Actos (pioglitazone) is a diabetes drug by Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The purpose of the medication was that; along with diet, an exercise program and sometimes with other medications, the drug could treat type 2 diabetes (condition in which the body does not use insulin normally and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood). Actos is an addition to the class of insulin sensitizing diabetes medication referred to as Thiazolidinediones (“TZDs). Actos is meant to be taken by prescription only, and once daily.
Specifically, the FDA announced that five-year data shows that although there’s no overall increased risk of bladder cancer, patients with the longest exposure to and the highest cumulative dose of the drug were at risk. A first study of the drug, conducted over a 10 year period, did not produce any meaningful link between Actos and Bladder Cancer. However, the FDA reviewed information from a five-year interim data period, and found that some users who took the drug over a longer period of time developed an increased risk of Bladder Cancer. The latter analysis examined 193,099 patients treated with Actos, with a two year median use. In the FDA’s words, “the agency has approved updated drug labels for Actos (pigolitazone) to include information that the use of this medication for more than 12 months may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.”
A study conducted on August 17, 2011 regarding the side effects of taking Actos and Bladder Cancer Risk yielded these specific results: “According to the report, 22,512 reported side effects when taking Actos and 0.22% have bladder cancer. The largest concentration (approx. 43%) were using Actos between 2-5 years before having Bladder Cancer with the next largest concentration (approx. 29%) used Actos between 1-6 months.” There have been numerous Actos lawsuits filed throughout the country. Given the large volume of Actos claims, those claims filed in federal court have been consolidated to the Western District of Louisiana. The legal profession expects to absorb many more cases regarding the drug, and so a simple “Google” search will yield results such as “http://www.actoslawsuit.com” and “www.actosinjurylawyers.com.” Due to the large number of users of the drug, the number of legal claims is likely to grow exponentially in the coming months and years.
Regarding the specific legal issues that these attorneys are likely to raise, the claims will likely include: Medical expenses, future medical expense, lost income, future lost income, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, emotional anguish and wrongful death. Whether or not a case has merit will be up to the judge, and one challenge will be to establish a link between each patient’s consumption of the drug and the patient’s Bladder Cancer. Needless to say, the process is a lot more complex than, “I have Bladder Cancer, I took Actos; now write me a check!”
Disclaimer; This article provides some legal information. Legal information is not legal advise.