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Study Links Actos to Bladder Cancer

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New Orleans, LAMore plaintiffs are coming forward to file Actos lawsuits alleging they were harmed by Actos side effects. Actos has reportedly been linked to an increased risk of serious side effects. Plaintiffs allege they developed bladder cancer as a result of using Actos to treat their diabetes. Those claims are now seemingly bolstered by a new study in BMJ.

According to the Louisiana Record (5/17/16), a woman from Washington state filed a lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, for negligence and strict products liability. The plaintiff argues she used Actos between January 2011 and December 2011, and was later diagnosed with bladder cancer. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants knew about the potential link between Actos and bladder cancer but failed to warn patients about the serious risks. The lawsuit is case number 6:16-cv-00581, in the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

As of May 16, 2016, there were 4,596 lawsuits consolidated for pretrial proceedings in MDL 2299, In Re Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation.

While Takeda and plaintiffs argue over whether or not Actos is linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, a study by researchers in Canada suggests such a link exists. The study was led by Marco Tuccori and published in the BMJ in March 2016. Researchers compared the rates of bladder cancer in patients who were given pioglitazone (the generic name for Actos) with the rates of bladder cancer in patients given other antidiabetic medications. The study suggested that pioglitazone was linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, whereas rosiglitazone (Avandia) was not linked to such a risk. Furthermore, researchers found that the longer a patient took pioglitazone, and the higher the dose, the greater the risk of developing bladder cancer. Overall, researchers found pioglitazone was associated with a 63 percent increased risk of bladder cancer.

“The results of this large population based study indicate that pioglitazone is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer,” researchers wrote. “The absence of an association with rosiglitazone suggests that the increased risk is drug specific and not a class effect.”

Studies have produced conflicting reports as to whether or not Actos is linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Although the overall risk of bladder cancer is low, patients say they were not adequately warned about the risk when they were prescribed Actos.

In addition to lawsuits in the United States, there have also been lawsuits filed in Canada, alleging patients were harmed by the use of Actos.

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