Actos Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Takeda

The family of a Georgia man alleges that side effects of Actos, a popular diabetes drug, led to a deadly case of bladder cancer. 

The wrongful death complaint (PDF) was filed against Takeda Pharmaceuticals in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on July 30, on behalf of the estate of Joseph Raymond, who developed bladder cancer after using Actos for about 8 years.

According to allegations raised in the Actos lawsuit, Takeda knew or should have known that their diabetes medication increased the risk of bladder cancer, but concealed the potential side effects from the public and the medical community.

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The wrongful death lawsuit claims that Raymond developed bladder cancer after taking the medication for treatment of his type 2 diabetes from approximately 2002 through February 2010. Despite several studies that suggested an increased risk of bladder cancer, Raymond’s estate alleges that Takeda failed to warn about the risks associated with use of Actos for more than 12 months.

The case is one of hundreds of lawsuits over bladder cancer from Actos filed on behalf of individuals throughout the United States

Actos Lawsuits Over Bladder Cancer

Actos (pioglitazone) was approved by the FDA for treatment of type 2 diabetes in July 1999.  It is a once-daily pill that increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin.  Related medications that also contain the same active pharmaceutical ingredient include ActoPlus Met and Duetact.

Over the past 18 months, concerns have emerged about the risk of bladder cancer from Actos, after interim data released in September 2010 indicated that long-term use of the diabetes drug was linked to an increased rate of bladder cancer.

In June 2011, the FDA issued a drug safety communication to indicate that new information would be added to the warning label for Actos, which indicates that use of the medication for more than one year may increase the risk of developing bladder cancer.  Although regulators in France removed the diabetes drug from the market due to the risk, the FDA has not indicated that a recall for Actos will be issued in the United States.

The Raymond lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for pain and suffering, economic losses, attorneys fees, medical expenses and the cost of Raymond’s eight years of Actos prescriptions. The lawsuit accuses the defendants of negligence, failure to warn, defective design and breach of warranty. It also seeks punitive damages describing Takeda and Eli Lilly’s actions as “extreme, outrageous, oppressive, fraudulent and/or malicious.”

The Actos wrongful death lawsuit will be consolidated with other federal claims during pretrial proceedings, as all complaints filed in U.S. District Courts have been centralized as part of an Actos MDL, or multidistrict litigation, before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty in the Western District of Louisiana.

There are currently more than 780 lawsuits filed by individuals who indicate that they developed bladder cancer from Actos, and the number of complaints is continuing to increase.

According to an order issued earlier this month, the first Actos trial date in the federal MDL is not scheduled to begin until November 2014, with a second trial in January 2015.


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