October 4, 2012 — Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of two men who died of bladder cancer after taking Actos (pioglitazone), a type-2 diabetes medication that has been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. There are now 1,000 lawsuits filed into the Actos Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana before Judge Rebecca Doherty.
The lawsuits, filed by the families of James Person from Georgia and Pablo Astorga from California, allege that Takeda Pharmaceuticals created a defective drug, concealed knowledge of the risks, and failed to adequately warn about the risk of bladder cancer and other side effects.
The litigation against Takeda has grown significantly since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warnings about the risks associated with Actos in 2011. French researchers have also linked Actos to an increased risk of bladder cancer, and Actos is now restricted in France and Germany. Although Actos has not been recalled in the United States, use of the drug has declined substantially in recent years. The FDA has specifically warned that using Actos for more than a year can increase the risk of bladder cancer. Health Canada has also warned that using Actos for more than a year at high doses is associated with bladder cancer.
The first trials in the Actos MDL are scheduled to begin in November 2014. Some analysts estimate that up to 10,000 lawsuits could be filed within that time. The litigation is still in its early stages, with parties negotiating which “bellwether” trials will be selected. These cases will be selected for issues and injuries that are common to other cases, and they will set precedent for deciding the rest of the cases in an expedient manner.
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