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Update: Actos Cases Linked To Bladder Cancer Set For First MDL Trial

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A group of lawsuits that contend the diabetes drug, Actos, carries an increased risk of bladder cancer are set for an initial trial in Louisiana beginning in 2014.

In December, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation assigned Doherty to preside over dozens of lawsuits against Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., which is based in Deerfield, Ill. Plaintiffs' attorneys expect to file several thousand claims against Takeda and its related companies on behalf of people who used the drug.

Multi District Litigation (MDL) allows that all preliminary parts and discoveries relating to the case will be held in one court.

Aside from this, there is currently an Actos Trial underway in California Superior Court that started in March of 2013.

Although sales of Actos were halted in France and Germany last year, the FDA issued a warning about the possible cancer risk in 2010, but allowed sales to continue.

“Information about a possible risk of bladder cancer associated with Actos use has been on the drug label since it was first approved for Type 2 diabetes in 1999,” according to an FDA spokeswoman.

The first lawsuit linking bladder cancer to Actos was filed against Takeda and Eli Lily in July 2011. More than 10,000 claims are outstanding. Some are expected to be heard in California and Illinois State Court.

The company recently released a statement saying it works hard to evaluate any potential risks associated with any of its products.

Whistleblower Allegations

A newly filed lawsuit alleges that executives of maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals also tried influencing and hiding negative data.

A former medical reviewer for Takeda Pharmaceutical has filed a False Claims Act lawsuit claiming the pharmaceutical giant failed to report health risks to regulators and directed reviewers to "change their professional opinion" over health concerns of their diabetes drug Actos.