Bladder-Cancer Lawsuits against Actos Growing
Actos, a drug prescribed as the preferred medication for treating type-2 diabetes, is sparking an increasing number of lawsuits by patients who blame the drug for causing an onset of Actos bladder cancer.
However, the even bigger news is that the latest study by a major health insurance company shows bladder cancer is just one of Actos’ potentially fatal side effects.The initial increase in Actos litigation was triggered by the recent conclusions of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review of a study by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Actos. The study tracked patients’ use of the drug over a 10-year period and found they developed a higher risk of bladder cancer when they used the drug for 12 months or longer.
FDA Takes Action
After the review, the FDA ordered that all labels on Actos, which is also known as pioglitazone, must warn potential users that patients with active bladder cancer should not take the medicine. In addition, a warning must also appear telling patients that if they have been diagnosed with bladder cancer in the past – even if they are now cured -- they should use Actos with caution.
The FDA’s actions are mild compared to steps taken by European countries such as France and Germany, where Actos was pulled from the shelves with future sales being banned. As you might imagine, because of these findings lawsuits from plaintiffs who say they have developed bladder cancer as a direct result of using the Actos have skyrocketed. It’s important to point out that Actos is also sold under the names of Actoplus Met, Actoplus Met XR and Duetact.
Request for Consolidation of Actos Lawsuits
If anyone needs an indicator of just how many new Actos lawsuits might be on the horizon as a result of the FDA’s review and other studies, they should consider that a request has just been filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigations. In the filing, attorneys representing a growing number of plaintiffs are asking that all bladder cancer lawsuits against Actos filed in the United States be consolidated and heard in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Furthermore, they are requesting District Court Judge G. Patrick Murphy be the one to hear the cases.
There is much at stake for both the plaintiffs and the defendant, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, in the upcoming litigation. Industry sources report that Actos is the 10th best-selling drug for Takeda with sales of more than $2.4 billion worldwide in 2008.
More Risks Now Associated With Actos
While Actos had been touted to be a safe alternative to Avandia – which had been found to cause heart attacks and heart failure in some patients—the latest study shows that Actos also increases the chances of developing these problems.
The study conducted by HealthCore Inc., the research arm of health insurance provider WellPoint Inc., studied the medical records of 28,938 of its members from 2001 to 2005 who took one drug or the other.
Unbelievably, the data showed that about 4 percent of each group died from heart failure or a heart attack.
Here is the actual breakdown of the data:
- 243 patients taking Actos suffered heart failure compared with 265 who were taking Avandia.
- 121 patients taking Actos suffered a heart attack, while 96 patients had a heart attack while taking Avandia.
- 18 patients on Actos suffered both a heart attack and heart failure, while 24 taking Avandia suffered from both conditions.
- Finally, 217 patients taking Actos died from a heart attack or heart failure; the exact number that died from these side effects while taking Avandia.
This proves that bladder cancer is just one of the life-threatening illnesses that Actos can trigger. If you or one of your loved ones are or had been using Actos and have suffered any symptoms of bladder cancer, heart attacks or heart failure, please visit Actos Lawsuit for a free case review
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