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More Actos Lawsuits Filed

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Cleveland, OHYears after lawsuits concerning the risk of Actos side effects were first filed, new plaintiffs alleging a link between Actos and bladder cancer are still coming forward. The plaintiffs claim they were harmed by the use of Actos and were not adequately warned about the potential risk of serious side effects.

One such lawsuit was recently filed by Frank Griffin, according to the Louisiana Record (6/13/16). Griffin alleges he used Actos from 2004 through 2010 and was diagnosed with bladder cancer, which he says is directly linked to his use of Actos. The lawsuit claims permanent injuries, pain, suffering and mental anguish.

As with other lawsuits, Griffin alleges Takeda Pharmaceuticals failed to adequately warn patients and/or health care providers about the risk of bladder cancer.

Actos lawsuits have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings in MDL 2299 (In Re: Actos Products Liability Litigation). As of June 15, 2016, there were still more than 4,500 lawsuits consolidated in the MDL.

Studies have yielded conflicting results regarding the risk of bladder cancer linked to the use of Actos. One study, published in the July 21, 2015 issue of JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), found there was no significantly increased risk of bladder cancer in patients who took Actos, although researchers said they could not exclude a small increased risk. Researchers recommended further study to assess a potential link between Actos and prostate or pancreatic cancer. It’s worth noting that the study was funded by a grant from Takeda Development Center Americas and one of the researchers had consulted for Takeda.

A more recent study, however, published March 30, 2016, in the BMJ (British Medical Journal), suggested Actos (known generically as pioglitazone) is linked to a 63 percent increased risk of bladder cancer and, further, that the risk is specific to Actos and not seen in similar drugs in the same class, such as rosiglitazone. Researchers also found that the duration and dose of treatment had an effect on the risk of developing bladder cancer.

The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Takeda has settled some lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who alleged they developed bladder cancer after using the diabetes medication. The drugmaker has also lost some lawsuits that went to court, with juries awarding millions of dollars in damages.

Griffin’s lawsuit is case number 6:16-cv-00711, in US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

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