An Increased Risk of Complications Leading to the Actos® Lawsuit
The diabetes drug Actos® has been linked to bladder cancer and other serious complications, sparking lawsuits across the country. An over $2 billion settlement has been reached to compensate thousands of claimants in the Actos® lawsuit, and there have been many other jury awards. In San Diego, CA, our law firm is currently representing patients and families who have suffered losses caused by Actos® and other diabetes medications.
Top-selling Actos® has been used by millions of patients since it was introduced in 1999. If you or a loved one took this drug and suffered bladder cancer, heart failure, or another serious complication, you may be eligible for significant compensation. Please contact our pharmaceutical attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.
Actos® Complications Danger
Actos® (pioglitazone) is considered one of the most successful diabetes medications ever created, bringing in billions of dollars for manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals. An “insulin sensitizer” that helps control blood sugar, Actos® attaches to cell receptors and stimulates the cells to remove glucose from the blood. It also regulates the activity of the liver to make it more responsive to insulin.
After receiving many reports of bladder cancer associated with Actos®, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a 2011 safety warning. They specifically warned of increased risks of bladder cancer in patients using the drug for over a year and required Takeda to update warning labels to this effect.
A study published in the British Medical Journal in 2012 also reported increased risk of bladder cancer in patients taking Actos®. French and German doctors reacted by halting prescriptions for the drug, and India subsequently banned it as well.
In addition to bladder cancer, Actos® has been associated with higher incidences of serious side effects such as heart failure, kidney and liver failure, bone fractures, and blindness. The drug’s “black box warning” includes an increased risk of congestive heart failure, added in 2007. Though Takeda’s patent for Actos® expired in 2011, it is still prescribed in the U.S. today.
Thousands of U.S. lawsuits have been filed against Japan-based Takeda, with some also naming Takeda’s American marketing partner, Eli Lilly. Complainant accusations include marketing an unsafe drug and failing to warn patients and doctors about deadly risks.
Evidence shows that Takeda’s preclinical animal trials linked Actos® to bladder tumors in male rats. In 2005, Takeda’s research found a higher percentage of bladder cancer in Actos® patients compared to those who had taken another medication.
In addition, a whistleblower lawsuit filed against Takeda alleges the company ignored potential dangers and promoted Actos® off-label for pre-diabetes treatment. It was not FDA approved for this use, but the claimant alleges that doctors were bribed to prescribe Actos® for prediabetes.
Takeda agreed to a $2.4 billion settlement of 9,000 plaintiff claims in April 2015, one of the biggest pharmaceutical settlements in history. Previous Actos® jury awards have been as high as $9 billion for a single plaintiff (reduced to $368 million by the case judge).
Patients and families can still file a lawsuit for complications suffered because of Actos®. The statute of limitations laws are relevant in these cases, but timing starts from the date a patient discovers his or her injury. Some patients have been unaware of the connection between their health problems and prescription medication.