As of August 2011, Actos (Pioglitazone), manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, was the best selling Type 2 diabetes drug in the world. Introduced to the U.S. market in July 1999, the popularity of the drug has steadily increased over the years, generating over $4 billion in sales in 2010. However, in June 2011, a study of more than 1 million diabetics was commissioned by the French government. The study, consisting of approximately 155,000 on Actos and 1.3 million on other medications, found that Actos patients demonstrated nearly a 22 percent higher risk of bladder cancer when compared to those taking other medications. Additionally, the risk of bladder cancer was highest in those individuals receiving a cumulative Actos dosage of 28,000 mg or more during the study period. Immediately following this study, sales of Actos were suspended in France and Germany, while the FDA issued new bladder cancer warnings for individuals taking Actos in excess of one year.
Another study, based on data obtained from the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Health Plan, found that diabetics over 40 years old who had taken Actos for longer than 12 months had a 40% increased risk of bladder cancer when compared with patients who had never taken the drug.
Notwithstanding the FDA’s very recent decision, many are alleging that Takeda Pharmaceuticals did not provide proper notice of the risk of bladder cancer to potential users of the drug.
If you feel you have experienced adverse side-effects from taking Actos, you can contact Stark & Stark and speak to one of the Mass Tort/Pharmaceutical Litigation attorneys, free of charge, who can help assess any claims that you might have against the manufacturers of Actos.