News Inferno has reported that another lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of the Type-2 incretin mimetic diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone), has been filed in the alleged wrongful death of an Ohio man who possibly suffered bladder cancer from the drug.
The plaintiff claims that the now-deceased decedent took Actos from June 2002 to February 2007. Upon completion of the medicine, the man learned he had developed bladder cancer, which the plaintiff claims the cancer was caused from the man’s prolonged use of Actos. The man died months later, in September 2007. The lawsuit claims that Takeda Pharmaceuticals was fully aware of the increased risks of taking Actos over prolonged periods of time, but failed to disclose this information to the man or his physician.
“The FDA, they knew nothing and they made the classic mistake of asking the company to continue to give it with information. Which, when you have a company that’s making multiple billions of dollars off of a drug, you’re going to see what you see here – which is the company lying to the FDA, the company, internally, trying to figure out how to put fires out, how to paint data in the way that favors it and how to basically lie to not just doctors but the FDA and all the patients taking this drug,” says Robert Price, a personal injury lawyer at Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor, P.A.
It wasn’t until 2011, and after a decade-long Kaiser Permanente study linking the use of Actos to bladder cancer, that the Food and Drug Administration was prompted to update the warning label on Actos, warning patients of the increased risk of bladder cancer after using the drug for just one year. Numerous studies have supported the notion of the Kaiser Permanente study, including a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that exposed that patients who took the diabetes drug for two years were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer. Furthermore, The Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study that found a 22 percent increase in the chance of developing bladder cancer when using Actos.
Thousands of lawsuits against Actos have already been filed. The most recent case involved a jury finding Takeda Pharmaceuticals negligent in warning consumers of the dangers bladder cancer associated with the prolonged use of Actos. The company was ordered to pay out $6.5 million after the plaintiff was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer from his four-year use of the diabetes drug, according to News Inferno.
Other similar Type-2 diabetes drugs are facing scrutiny as well. Byetta, Januvia, Janumet, and Vicoza, which are also classified as incretin mimetics, are known to increase the risk of acute pancreatitis, which can lead to pancreatic cancer. Use of Byetta has also being linked to thyroid cancer. Several lawsuits are expected to come from these drugs as well, and the FDA is actively investigating all incretin mimetics.
Krysta Loera is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow her on Twitter @KrystaLoera