Diabetes is a terrible disease that effects millions of Americans and can lead to a lifetime of maintenance and prescription dependency. These drugs are specifically designed to keep diabetes alive and give them a better quality of life. However, Actos has been found to cause a much more deadly disease, bladder cancer.
Victims of Takeda Industry’s diabetes drug filed to consolidate a multidistrict litigation (MDL) class action lawsuit and all of the parties came to an agreement on Sept. 29th to allow the MDL. The next step is to find a venue for the victims to present their cases. Yet, there are victims that have not yet found legal representation or know the dangers that Actos posed to their health.
Actos Bladder Cancer Side Effect
Back in 1999, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Actos (pioglitazone) to treat Type 2 diabetes. The potentially defective drug is used to increase the body’s insulin sensitivity. The studies show that the drug is effective in doing its job, however, there have been studies linking it to heart attacks and now the FDA admits a high risk of bladder cancer. They said on their website:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing the public that the Agency has approved updated drug labels for the pioglitazone-containing medicines to include safety information that the use of pioglitazone for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.
The FDA may have a hand in this whole fiasco for not doing their due diligence.
You see, Actos’s main competitor was a drug called Avandia that was shown to seriously increase a patient’s chance of heart attack to such a degree that studies suggest it caused hundreds of thousands of heart attacks and potentially hundreds—if not thousands—of deaths. After an excruciating amount of foot dragging, in July of 2010, the FDA finally ruled to regulate Avandia into obscurity. This left an open window for Takeda to swoop in.
Not only did the FDA move against Avandia, it recommended that patients switch to Actos. This increased Takeda Pharmaceuticals to $4.3 billion in Actos sales last year, nearly double the profit. As you can see above that only after a year, patients were finding that they were out of the heart-attack-pot and into the bladder-cancer-fire.
Actos Bladder Cancer Research
However, Takeda had already been conducting tests regarding an industry suspicion that Actos had the potential of causing bladder cancer. They sent the FDA data that originated from an ongoing 10-year study after five years or half way through the study. The research at that point showed that rats given the drug had a slightly higher rate of bladder tumors.
The five-year data involved 193,099 patients with diabetes. Initially the statistics looked good revealing no indication that there was significant link between Actos and bladder cancer. Yet, when the duration the patients had been taking the drug was factored in, they found that the risk increased significantly.
After only 24 months, the rate of the increased risk of bladder cancer reached statistical significance. The increase was nearly 1.4%. This doesn’t sound too significant, but think about all of the patients. In 193,099 patients, 270 that contracted bladder cancer. Now put the number of patients in the millions and imagine the number of those effected in the US alone.
Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuit
Since Actos has been on the market for 12 years without Takeda Industries or the FDA making any slight move to help protect patients from contracting bladder cancer, it’s no wonder that victims and their families are now coming forward seeking justice from this incredibly irresponsible behavior by both the industry and the FDA. In fact, the FDA has not even banned the use of the drug by patients who have a history of bladder cancer!
They merely recommend to healthcare professionals on their site to, “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.”
It is currently unknown how many bladder cancer deaths potentially have been caused by Actos since the major study is testing how many patients get bladder cancer rather than looking retrospectively into Actos patients. This is partly being addressed by French researchers.
The FDA has promised an update on the drug after review of data collected by the French researchers, but they have yet to act as decisively as the French have, who have banned the drug on their market of 230,000 patients.
National Actos Attorney
There is a reasonable expectation that patients will come first in the eyes of those who regulate pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, in the case of Actos, that system may be letting them down. Takeda Industries is going to make as much profit as they possibly can. The largest pharmaceutical drug settlement in history was Merck, who had to pay out $5 billion concerning Vioxx deaths. As you can see, if Takeda pays half of that, they are merely out 6 months worth of profit and will offering a drug the FDA obviously refuses to take off of the market.
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.