Actos bladder cancer lawsuits consolidated in Louisiana

Lawsuits against drug company Takeda claiming its type 2 diabetes drug Actos causes bladder cancer have been consolidated before one judge in federal court in Louisiana. The Federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation sent the lawsuits to the Western District of Louisiana in Layfayette. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty will oversee pretrial proceedings including evidence gathering in the lawsuit.

The lawsuits claim that patients were put at increased risk for developing bladder cancer by using Actos to treat their type 2 diabetes. The plaintiffs also allege that Takeda and co-defendant Eli Lily & Co. withheld evidence that showed that Actos increased the risk of bladder cancer, especially when used long term.

Takeda said in September that 54 federal lawsuits had been filed. Since then, dozens more lawsuits have been added, according to federal court records.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first recognized a bladder cancer risk in Actos in 2010, but Takeda denied the claims. After further review of the data, in June 2011 the FDA issued a safety announcement to doctors and diabetes patients that an increased risk for bladder cancer had been linked to Actos, with the greatest risk in patients who used the drug long term.

Actos was pulled off the market in Germany and France last year after the studies were released, but the FDA opted to instead put warnings on the safety labels of Actos warning of the bladder cancer risk.

ACTOS, ACTOplus met, ACTOplus met XR, and duetact are trademarks of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and used under license by Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.

Source: Bloomberg