Actos Bladder Cancer Risk
Written by Faith Anderson on April 24, 2012
Actos Bladder Cancer Warning Strengthened
Actos (pioglitazone) is a type 2 diabetes drug that garnered FDA approval in July 1999. It is a once-a-day pill that increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, thereby relieving the adverse effects of diabetes. Actos was developed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals and has grown in popularity in recent years, generating $4.3 billion in sales last year alone. The warnings regarding bladder cancer will be added to all Actos drug labels in Canada, and Health Canada has recommended that Actos not be prescribed to patients with active bladder cancer, a history of problems with bladder cancer, or blood in the urine.
France and Germany Initiate Actos Recall
FDA officials began investigating the potential risk of bladder cancer with Actos use in September 2010, after interim data from an ongoing 10-year study indicated that users may face an increased risk the longer they take the medication. Health officials in both France and Germany issued an Actos recall as a result of the risks associated with the drug, and Actos has seen stronger label warnings in the United States and across the rest of the European Union.
Actos Lawsuits filed for Bladder Cancer Side Effects
The Canadian Actos warnings come as the number of Actos lawsuits filed continues to increase in the United States, where dozens of complaints have been filed already and new cases are brought each week. All of the complaints involve similar claims that Actos maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals failed to provide adequate bladder cancer warnings for Actos users, and actively attempted to conceal the risk from consumers and healthcare professionals. The federal Actos litigation has been consolidated for pre-trial proceedings as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. In Canada, an Actos class action lawsuit was filed in December on behalf of all users in the country diagnosed with bladder cancer after using Actos. The complaint was filed by the estate of a Toronto woman who died in 2011 from bladder cancer after treating her type 2 diabetes with Actos.