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Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuits Consolidated

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Lafayette, LAActos lawsuits, alleging patients were exposed to an increased risk of Actos side effects, have been consolidated before one judge in federal court in Louisiana. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim they were exposed to an increased risk of Actos bladder cancer and were not adequately warned about the link between Actos and bladder cancer.

According to Bloomberg (12/30/11), Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., maker of Actos, faces lawsuits alleging its diabetes drug is linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Furthermore, plaintiffs allege that Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co did not provide adequate warnings about that risk. The article notes that as of September 2011, 45 federal lawsuits were filed, although dozens more were added since that time. All federal lawsuits were filed in July 2011 or later.

Actos is still available on the market in the US, although it was removed from the market in Germany and France after reports surfaced of an increased risk of bladder cancer. A class-action lawsuit has also been filed in Canada against Takeda and Eli Lilly (who formerly distributed Actos), alleging that taking Actos for longer than one year was associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. The lead plaintiff in the Canadian lawsuit has since died from bladder cancer, according to CBC (12/22/11).

Actos carries a warning on its label that use of the drug for more than one year is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. The updated label was ordered by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after a five-year interim analysis of a 10-year epidemiological study suggested an increased risk of bladder cancer in patients with the longest exposure to Actos and the highest cumulative dose. The FDA announced it would continue to review the study and would provide updates as more information becomes available.

Meanwhile, patients who use Actos are urged to watch for signs of bladder cancer, and doctors are advised not to prescribe Actos to patients with active bladder cancer.

Actos, known generically as pioglitazone, is in a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones. It is used to treat type 2 diabetes by increasing the patient's insulin sensitivity.

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