The type 2 diabetes drug Actos was “the most substantial” factor in a California man’s terminal bladder cancer, a urologist told jurors during the first bladder cancer lawsuit to go to trial against the drug’s maker, Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Norm D. Smith, an associate professor of surgery and urology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, testified on behalf of the plaintiff that long-term use of Actos was the most likely cause of his bladder cancer.
Attorneys for the plaintiff, Jack Cooper, argued that the man did not have a family history of cancer and his previous history of smoking was not enough to be considered the cause of his bladder cancer. Attorneys argued that Cooper developed bladder cancer after prolonged use of Actos. Cooper took Actos from 2006 to 2011.
Cooper was diagnosed with bladder cancer in December 2011. His doctor gave him two to eight months to live. The lawsuit is the first to go to trial among more than 3,000 that allege Takeda failed to adequately warn doctors of the health risks associated with its type 2 diabetes drug. Cooper’s lawsuit became the first to be heard because of his terminal diagnosis.
Actos was once a blockbuster medication generating more than $4.5 billion in sales in 2011 alone. Sales of the type 2 diabetes drug slumped after 2011, when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that studies had linked Actos to bladder cancer, especially in patients who took the drug long term.