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Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuits Move Forward

Filed February 16th, 2012 Julie

An initial court hearing concerning a group of lawsuits that claim the diabetes drug, Actos, carries with it an increased risk of bladder cancer has been scheduled by a Louisiana federal judge. The order was issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty, who said she intends to appoint lead attorneys after the March 22 status conference scheduled to take place in her courtroom.

Doherty was assigned to preside over the dozens of lawsuits filed against Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc. in December. Attorneys for the plaintiffs are expecting to see thousands of claims filed against the drug maker and its subsidiaries on behalf of patients who were sickened while taking the medication.

Takeda insists it is doing its best to evaluate potential risks associated with its products, and argued that studies show Actos
remains an effective, safe drug for most people with Type 2 diabetes. The company issued a statement that read, in part: “Takeda is confident in the therapeutic benefits of Actos and its importance as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. As a science and evidence-based company, Takeda firmly stands behind the substantial data available confirming the positive risk/benefit profile of Actos, which includes twelve years of clinical and patient experience with the product.”

The lawsuits claim researchers found that people who take Actos for longer than a year have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Plaintiffs accuse the company of hiding those risks and failing to adequately warn consumers and health care professionals.

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