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Actos Plaintiffs Not Dissuaded by Vacated Actos Bladder Cancer Verdict

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Deerfield, ILThe recent overturning of an Actos bladder cancer lawsuit verdict that had awarded $6.5 million to an elderly plaintiff has not dissuaded other Actos plaintiffs from filing an Actos lawsuit alleging their Type 2 diabetes medication is the culprit behind the emergence of their bladder cancer.

A lawsuit filed at the behest of four plaintiffs this spring in St. Clair County Circuit Court alleges that Actos manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals knew that pioglitazone (Actos) carried the potential for bladder cancer, but failed to adequately warn consumers, amongst other allegations.

The lawsuit is case No. 13-L-15 and names as defendants Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc., Takeda Global Research & Development Center Inc., Takeda Pharmaceuticals LLC, Takeda San Diego Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Inc. According to PRWeb Newswire (5/31/13), the plaintiffs seek $1.75 million in damages and court costs.

In spite of the recent dismissal of a multi-million dollar judgment in favor of an Actos bladder cancer plaintiff, other claimants having filed an Actos bladder cancer lawsuit remain buoyed by the potential for justice in the face of their suffering.

Testimony in the case of Jack Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc. (No. CGC-12-518535, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles) suggested that Actos was the probable cause of bladder cancer suffered by plaintiff Cooper. According to court records, the 79-year-old was diagnosed with bladder cancer after having taken Actos for five years - an accumulated 55,000 milligrams of pioglitazone.

According to Law360 (3/26/13), Dr. Norm D. Smith, an assistant professor of urology and surgery at the University of Chicago, testified that Actos was the most likely cause of the plaintiff’s advanced cancer. Cooper was also identified as having no family history of cancer.

And Actos side effects emerged in advance of plaintiff Jack Cooper and his wife Nancy filing their Actos bladder cancer lawsuit in 2012. The year prior, in what turned out to be a watershed for Actos and bladder cancer concern, the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products, and Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices both issued statements warning of bladder cancer risks.

For its part, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also issued a cautionary statement with regard to the risk for Actos and bladder cancer and mandated a label change to pioglitazone reflecting the potential risk. Later that year, according to Reuters (6/10/11), Germany further cautioned their doctors against prescribing Actos for Type 2 diabetes, and France took steps to remove pioglitazone from the French market altogether.

And yet, in arguing the outcome of the $6.5 million Cooper verdict, defendant Takeda appealed to the judge in the case that Cooper had not adequately proven that Actos caused his bladder cancer. In spite of the testimony given at trial, the judge sided with the defendant, and the award - which took five days for the jury to deliberate - was vacated.

Plaintiff Jack Cooper, it was reported, will appeal the judge’s ruling. His was the first Actos bladder cancer case to go to trial due to Cooper’s rapidly deteriorating health. At the time of the trial, Cooper had been given just a few months to live. Dr. Smith, according to court records, had testified that 55,000 milligrams of Actos ingested over a period of years was “the most substantial causative factor” in Cooper’s illness.

There are some 3,000 Actos and bladder cancer lawsuits in the pipeline, following the fairly sudden emergence of alleged Actos bladder cancer starting in 2011. That’s because Actos, at one time a much smaller competitor to GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia, was originally not as prevalent as it became after Avandia was found to harbor greater risk factors to the heart than Actos, and doctors switched their Type 2 diabetes patients away from Avandia to Actos, in droves.

Actos, almost overnight, became a market leader. At the time of the massive switch to Actos from Avandia, there was no hint about the possibility of Actos bladder cancer. While there was a risk of Actos heart failure akin to that which haunted Avandia, it was determined that Actos heart risk factors were less severe.

The emergence of suspected Actos bladder cancer has changed the landscape yet again. And in spite of the vacated $6.5 million Actos bladder cancer lawsuit award, Actos side effects plaintiffs remain buoyed by the potential for justice, given the evidence and the stance of various health agencies both at home and abroad.


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