Scientific studies indicate Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) contributed to the development of malignant bladder tumors, according to a Columbia University researcher who testified on behalf of a plaintiff who allegedly developed cancer after three years of taking the controversial diabetes medication.

According to a report on Law360, the researcher, Alfred Neugut, recently testified at a Philadelphia trial that a review of numerous studies and analyses indicated that Actos caused an increased risk of malignancies.

“I believe, within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that it causes bladder cancer,” he said in testimony.

Since 2007, Actos has been the most commonly prescribed drug in the world for treating type 2 diabetes – with sales peaking in 2011 at $4.5 billion. Takeda, Lilly Win 99.6% Cut in Actos Punitive Damages Although Actos first hit the prescription drug market in 1999, there is mounting evidence of a link between Actos and bladder cancer.

An FDA warning relates the extended use of the drug to bladder cancer, and initial analysis shows that patients who take Actos for longer than twelve months are at significantly increased risk. 

Some studies reveal that Actos may double the risk of bladder cancer. Diabetes Drug Actos Again Linked to Bladder Cancer

Actos had its sales suspended by medical regulators in France and Germany, following a study that found people taking Actos were more likely to develop bladder cancer.  Actos Bladder Cancer and Heart Disease

Despite the European studies and suspensions, Actos continues to be prescribed and distributed within the United States as a medication for type 2 diabetes. Actos and Bladder Cancer

The FDA warns patients who are taking Actos and who are experiencing the following symptoms of bladder cancer – including blood in urine, lower back and abdominal pain, urgent need to urinate and pain during urination – to contact their physician immediately. FDA Drug Safety Communication

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