The first court hearing for a group of lawsuits that claim Takeda Pharmaceutical’s type 2 diabetes drug Actos causes bladder cancer has been scheduled for March 22 in federal court in Lafayette, La. Following the hearing, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty says she plans to appoint lead attorneys for the consolidated cases. Doherty was assigned to preside over the lawsuits last December by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
Actos became a top-selling treatment for type 2 diabetes shortly after it was approved for use in 1999 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Last year, the FDA issued a warning that studies had linked the medication to bladder cancer, particularly when it was used long term. News of the study halted sales of the drug in Germany and France, but U.S. drug regulators opted to keep Actos on the market but place stronger warnings on the packaging.
The first lawsuit against Actos was filed in July 2011. Since then, dozens of more lawsuits have been filed. Plaintiffs’ attorneys expect the number of claims against Takeda and its related companies to climb into the thousands.
Thousands of other bladder cancer claims involving Actos are expected to be heard in California and Illinois state courts. The lawsuits allege that researchers found data that showed people who used Actos for more than a year were at an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. However, the lawsuit claims, Takeda concealed this knowledge of cancer risk and knowingly failed to warn consumers and healthcare providers of this 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.