Judges are considering whether to consolidate tens of thousands of lawsuits filed in the United States against Japanese drug maker Takeda over its type 2 diabetes drug Actos. The lawsuits claim the drug causes bladder cancer. The claims are backed up by an alert issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this year which warned that studies linked Actos to bladder cancer, and that the risk was even greater in patients who used the drug for more than a year.
Actos sales grew considerably early last year after the FDA severely restricted the sale of the type 2 diabetes drug Avandia based on studies that linked that drug to heart attacks. Sales for Actos continued to climb as other countries either restricted Avandia or completely banned the drug.
Actos, known also by the name pioglitazone, has since been banned from France and Germany due to cancer risk, plummeting the drug’s sales. The drug company recently announced that it would try to make up the losses of its top-selling Actos by expanding the drug’s marketing in China and India.
A spokesperson for Takeda says the company has updated its safety label information to include the risk for bladder cancer, and that it has full confidence in the efficacy of Actos for treating type 2 diabetes.
Takeda has already been sued numerous times over Actos in federal courts in the United States.
ACTOS is a trademark of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and used under license by Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.
AVANDIA is a registered trademark of GlaxoSmithKline.