Takeda Industries, the one time bit player in the pharmaceutical industry, recently had what can only be called a major boon served up to them by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In a very rare case, if not completely unprecedented in its history, the FDA directed consumers to stop taking their competitor’s diabetes drug Avandia and instead take their diabetes drug Actos.
The change injected more than $2 billion into the Japanese company’s coughers over night as doctors switched their patients after news that Avandia could possibly be linked to hundreds of thousands of heart attacks over its 10-year life on the market. Though not yet completely confirmed, Avandia could possibly have lead to thousands of untimely deaths. So, no wonder the shift to Actos happened so quickly.
Though there are clashing studies conducted by multiple sources that suggest that Actos’s heart attack risk is only slightly less if not equal to that of Avandia, there is a much more pressing and possibly deadly side effect that has been found in Actos. That side effect is bladder cancer.
What is Actos Bladder Cancer?
Actos’s active ingredient pioglitazone promotes the production of insulin for the treatment of type II diabetes. It is not exactly known why pioglitazone causes bladder cancer, but there is speculation as to how it effects the cell walls of the bladder as urine is stored, in turn promoting rapid cell growth that in turn effects surrounding tissue.
Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers to be caught at early stages since the bladder is such a sensitive organ. If you are an Actos patient it is important that you know the symptoms of bladder cancer in order to detect it early. If you start showing signs of any of the symptoms below, it is important to see your doctor immediately.
Symptoms of bladder cancer:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the urine
- Bone pain or tenderness
- Painful urination
- Urinary frequency
- Urinary urgency
- Urine leakage (incontinence)
- Weight loss
“[Actos’s] risk of cancer has been a smoldering concern since 1999 and one that has lingered.” ~ Dr Darren McGuire (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX)
For 12 years, the suspicion of a bladder cancer connection with Actos has been rattling around the healthcare industry, however it was left up to independent and foreign studies to search for a decisive causal relationship. It was after one of these extensive studies involving 230,000 French patients that France pulled Actos off of the market with the belief that Actos caused bladder cancer.
However, here in the United States, the FDA only in recent months made any mention of the research and warned health care professionals of the danger of Actos. Unfortunately, they not only don’t discourage use, but use the most passive language possible to highlight a very real and deadly disease.
“Use pioglitazone with caution in patients with a prior history of bladder cancer. The benefits of blood sugar control with pioglitazone should be weighed against the unknown risks for cancer recurrence.”
This has prompted as many as 1000 Actos lawsuits, which were consolidated this summer and are scheduled to be first presented before a judges panel on December 1st in order to begin the official process. This extensive class action lawsuit will undoubtedly be vigorously defended by Takeda, however they have been reported to already made arrangements to set aside a substantial sum to both fight and settle these very serious lawsuits.
It is very important that the victims and families of deceased victims in Washington State find experienced counsel in litigation against giant pharmaceutical companies. Finding an attorney that understands the plight of the victims an important step in finding justice.
National Actos Lawyer
There is not doubt that diabetes is a very serious disease that effect a proportionally larger population than that of bladder cancer. But once bladder tumors caused by Actos metastasize (grow into cancer cells that invade other surrounding tissue) the threat of the disease manifesting other parts of the body becomes very real and could threaten the life of the patient.
Now that there are thousands of new patients that have switched to Actos there is a risk of increased bladder cancer cases. Phillips Law Firm is a full service law firm that is prepared to help the victims of Actos side effects. If you or a loved one has a heart attack or stroke while taking Actos it is important that you call Phillips Law Firm for a free consultation.