ACTOS (PIOGLITAZONE) LINKED TO BLADDER CANCER: PATIENTS MAY NOT BE RECEIVING RECOMMENDED CARE, ACCORDING TO UCLA STUDY
Actos (pioglitazone), and other pioglitazone-containing medications (ActoPlusMet, ActoPlusMet XR, and Duetact), are all medications used in the treatment of type II diabetes. They work by helping the body use its own insulin to lower blood sugar and keep it under control.
Actos, and other pioglitazone-containing medications can place its users at a greater risk for developing bladder cancer. Earlier this year, (June, 2011), Actos was removed from the market in France and Germany. In August, 2011, the FDA issued warnings about Actos and approved new labeling for it and all pioglitazone-containing medications. The new warning states “Taking pioglitazone-containing medications for more than one year places you at a higher risk for developing bladder cancer”.
Bladder cancer is the 5th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Yet according to a new study conducted at UCLA, patients are not receiving vital treatment and surveillance, leaving them at a higher risk for bladder cancer recurrence, progression and death. According to Dr. Badrinath Konety, BCAN (Bladder Cancer Advisory Network) scientific advisory board member and co-author of the study, “the greatest cause of the lack…is the doctors. Providers are failing to offer their bladder cancer patients the care that is proven to reduce mortality.”
Another BCAN scientific advisory board member and urologic surgeon at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Bernard Bochner states that treatment guidelines are seen as controversial and in other cases doctors may not be familiar with the current standards and guidelines of care.
Dr. Bochner and BCAN are in the process of conducting a study of physicians as they treat patients with a goal of determining exactly why doctors are not complying with current guidelines and what can be done to ensure that doctors provide all patients with the appropriate care.