In June 2011, the FDA required a new safety label stating that “the use of Actos for more than one year may increase a person’s chance of bladder cancer”. The French Medicines Agency conducted a study of 155,000 patients over four years which revealed that taking Actos could increase the occurrence of bladder cancer by up to 40%.
Almost a year later, on May 14th, 2012, a Minnesota man, William Blumenstine, and his wife Kathy Jo Williams filed a lawsuit in Minnesota District Court (case no. 0:2012cv01162) alleging he suffered bladder cancer after taking Actos.
Actos (pioglitazone) is a type 2 diabetes drug, manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceutical Industries Limited and promoted as decreasing insulin resistance. Blumenstine claims he began taking Actos from 2004 to 2008 to treat his type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2008. Plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages for the injuries.
On April 9th 2012, U S District Judge Rebecca Doherty, overseeing the Actos Multidistrict Litigation (In Re: Actos Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2299, U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana) signed a Direct Filing Order making it easier for individual plaintiffs to file lawsuit alleging injury caused by Actos. New victims can file a lawsuit directly in the MDL.
Bloomberg reported in March 13th, 2012 that “Takeda, Asia’s biggest drugmaker, may face as many as 10,000 claims that Actos causes bladder cancer after U.S. regulators found last year the drug was linked to the disease.”