Type 2 Diabetes patients prescribed Actos for long-term treatment are starting to flood into the court system with claims that Actos caused them to develop bladder cancer.
In June of 2011, the FDA issued a warning to the public that the use of Actos (pioglitazone) for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. This new warning came about as a result of the FDA’s review of data from a ten-year epidemiological study. That study found that there was an increased risk of bladder cancer for patients with the longest exposure to the drug and with the highest cumulative dose of the drug.
The FDA clearly advised against the use of Actos for patients with active bladder cancer or with a history of bladder cancer. It also alerted patients to be aware of the symptoms of bladder cancer and presented many diabetic patients with a very difficult treatment choice, given that treating one chronic condition carries risks of a terminal condition.
We are carefully following developments related to Actos and bladder cancer. Patients who have been prescribed Actos for long-term diabetic treatment and were then diagnosed with bladder cancer may very well have legal recourse. The research findings between Actos and bladder cancer are so strong that some countries have suspended the sale of Actos, but in the United States, the strongest action has been new warning labels. But whether those warning labels are adequate—and whether they came early enough to protect Actos patients from the risks—is under question. It is still unknown just how many Actos patients are now suffering from bladder cancer.
Already, a growing number of patients in the United States have joined in a actions against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., the maker of Actos, claiming that the company did not adequately investigate and assess the risks of the drug before marketing it. The class action suit further alleges that the company failed to adequately inform the public of the serious dangers that Actos poses. It is estimated that Takeda could face up to 10,000 lawsuits related to Actos causing bladder cancer.