Lawsuits Over Actos and Bladder Cancer Coordinated in Calif. State Court

All Actos lawsuits filed in California state court by individuals who developed bladder cancer after taking the popular type 2 diabetes drug will be consolidated and coordinated during pretrial proceedings. 

On January 4, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carl J. West was appointed by the California Judicial Counsel to be the Coordination Motion Judge during pretrial proceedings in all product liability complaints involving Actos and bladder cancer.

Judge West has indicated that he will recommend the cases be venued in Los Angeles and that a trial judge be assigned from the Complex Litigation Panel of the Los Angeles Superior Court.

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Similar consolidation was recently ordered for the Actos litigation pending in the federal court system, with a multidistrict litigation established last month in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Actos, has indicated it intends to file a motion to transfer all of the California state court lawsuits over Actos to the federal MDL. However, lawyers representing plaintiffs who have brought the cases in California maintain that there is a legitimate basis for keeping the cases in state court, as Takeda operates a facility in San Diego.

Actos (pioglitazone) was approved by the FDA to treat Type 2 Diabetes in July, 1999. It is a once-a-day pill that increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. The medication has grown in popularity in recent years, generating $4.3 billion in sales last year.

FDA officials began reviewing the potential risk of Actos bladder cancer problems in September 2010, after interim data from an on-going 10 year study found that users may face an increased risk the longer they take the drug. Both France and Germany have already instituted an Actos recall, and the drug has seen increased label warnings in the U.S. and across the rest of the European Union.

All of the lawsuits over Actos and bladder cancer filed in various courts throughout the United States include similar allegations, that Takeda concealed their knowledge that users may face an increased risk of bladder cancer and failed to provide adequate warnings to consumers or the medical community.


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