Actos Attorney Representing Victims of Actos Linked To Bladder Cancer
Actos is a dangerous drug that some of you or your family members might
have taken that is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.
If you have been on Actos for a year or longer and are now diagnosed with
cancer, the manufacturer of the medication might be to blame. At the Law
Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A., we will do our best to see if your
case is one we can help you with. The best step you can take is contacting
a personal injury attorney to see if your cancer was possibly the result
of taking Actos.
When you or someone you know is diagnosed with cancer, it is naturally
devastating. But when you find out your cancer could have been avoided,
it becomes even more frustrating. That is exactly what is happening to
some of the people who are taking or have taken the medication Actos (pioglitazone).
Actos is an oral drug that is prescribed to people who are diagnosed with
type II diabetes. The drug is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.
and has been around since 1999. Until recently, Actos was the leading
diabetes drug in the world.
In June of 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a
warning that the use of Actos for a year or longer is possibly linked to an increased
risk of bladder cancer. The FDA added that information about the increased
risk of bladder cancer to the “Warnings and Precautions” section
of the label on the Actos box. In order to further protect the public,
two months later, in August of 2011, the FDA approved updated labels for
Actos that warned “that healthcare professionals should not use
pioglitazone in patients with active bladder cancer” and “should
use pioglitazone with caution in patients with a prior history of bladder
cancer.” These warnings are commonly referred to as “black
Other parts of the world also started taking measures to protect the public
from harm from Actos as well. In particular, in 2011 France suspended
the use of Actos entirely after the results of an epidemiological study
that they conducted showed an increased risk of bladder cancer with Actos.
Additionally, the French study found that the risk of bladder cancer increased
with exposure to the drug longer than a year. Specifically, the risk of
bladder cancer was significantly increased in people who had taken a cumulative
dose of more than 28,000 mg of Actos (pioglitazone). Similarly, in Germany,
they decided not to start new patients on the drug.
There have been various studies conducted concerning the increased risk
of bladder cancer associated with the use of Actos. Researchers have found
that there is a 20-40% increased risk of bladder cancer in patients who
took Actos for 1 to 2 years. For those patients who took Actos for more
than 2 years, research indicates the increased risk of bladder cancer
could jump as high as 80%. There is also published medical research that
indicates even low dose Actos use for six months or more causes an increased
risk of bladder cancer in diabetics.
Despite the evidence of the studies conducted in France and the U.S., Takeda
Pharmaceutical Co. backs up their drug. In fact, the company conducted
their own industry funded study on Actos in 2005 and found that the link
between Actos and bladder cancer did not reach a statistical significance.
However, since the date of the study, major flaws have been found. For
example, the study lacked relevant information such as tumors that appeared
in patients within one year of entry into the study. In addition, the
study left out people that had one or more risk factors of bladder cancer
in their medical history.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals has generated significant revenue from the sale
of Actos. According to
Bloomberg, Actos sales at its highest totaled $4.5 billion annually, which equated
to 27% of Takeda’s revenue around 2011.
Risk factors that increase the chances of bladder cancer include smoking
(which is one of the biggest risk factors), industrial chemical exposure,
chronic bladder irritations and infections, and chemotherapy and or radiation
therapy. In 2009, the company revisited their study and reported that
the drug did not cause bladder cancer and actually helps prevent cancer.
However, independent researchers recalculated the data that was originally
produced by the company to include risk factors and consequently, a significant
link was found between Actos and bladder cancer.
Recently, a federal jury recognized the link between Actos and bladder
cancer and held Takeda Pharmaceuticals and their marketing partner liable
for not disclosing that risk. In April 2014, the federal jury awarded
$1.5 million in compensatory damages and $9 billion in punitive damages
for keeping this cancer link from doctors and patients.
If you or someone you know has been taking Actos for a year or longer and
have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, call our office now at
(954) 833-1440 for your