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An increased risk of developing bladder cancer has been linked to the diabetes drug Actos (generic: pioglitazone). The increased risk of developing bladder cancer is a staggering 40%.

Actos was developed in 1999 to help lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes patients. Actos’ sales soared back in 2007 after news camer out that one of its competitors, Avandia, increased the risk of heart attacks. Actos is Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ best-selling drug, with sales of over 3 billion last year. It is a member of the Thiazolidinediones family of drugs and works by controlling blood sugar in the human body.

FDA Acknowledges Actos’ Cancer Risk

On August 4 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a safety alert and mandated a label change for Actos which now requires the warning associated with the risk of bladder cancer. The warning aims to educate patients who had been taking Actos for more than one year or who have been taking the highest dosage. The FDA’s acknowledgment that the use of Actos may lead to a 40 percent increased risk of bladder cancer was based on a study of more than 200,000 patients with type 2 diabetes.

Consolidation of Actos Lawsuits

In August 2011, a motion was filed requesting that all Actos lawsuits be consolidated into a Multidistrict litigation (MDL). On December 1, 2011 a panel of judges in Savannah, Georgia will convene to determine whether Actos lawsuits will be consolidated into an MDL. The purpose of a MDL is to expedite justice and to centralize the proceedings through one court that is familiar with the evidence. An MDL also helps plaintiffs who have filed their cases, as it allows their attorneys to share evidence and build stronger cases. If the MDL moves forward, any new cases filed by Actos lawyers across the country would in all probablity be moved into the MDL to take part in pretrial litigation.

What you should do

FDA says that you should not take ACTOS if you are receiving treatment for bladder cancer. If you have the following symptoms of bladder cancer, contact a doctor immediately:

• Blood or red color in urine

• Pain in back

• Pain in lower stomach

• Urgent need to urinate

• Pain while urinating

How we can help

It’s our opinion that Takeda Pharmaceuticals knew or should have known about the potential bladder cancer risk associated with ACTOS and did not take the steps to ensure that consumers and the medical community were aware of this potential side effect. Takeda Pharmaceuticals put money before consumer safety.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos, contact us at (800) 641-0098 or (404) 419-9500 for a free case evaluation and consultation.

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