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Actos Makers Never Warned of Bladder Cancer Risk, Woman Testifies

Filed April 21st, 2014 Cynthia Diaz-Shephard

Takeda Pharmaceuticals never warned that the type 2 diabetes drug can cause bladder cancer, a Nevada woman testified Tuesday. Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that 81-year old Delores Cipriano told jurors that no one ever informed her of the risk and stated that “If they did, I would have really paid attention,” Cipriano has been a diabetic for over 20 years; in July 2012, she was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Actos is diabetes medication that has been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer in many studies.
Cipriano, along with Las Vegas resident Bertha Triana, 80, filed lawsuits in the Clark County District Court alleging that Takeda’s Actos caused bladder cancer. Both cases were consolidated. The trial began on February 10th with jury selection and District Judge Kerry Earley is presiding. Cipriano is seeking a multibillion-dollar verdict. If won, it would be the largest in Nevada history.
Triana testified previously at the trial; she took Actos for about two years before she was diagnosed with bladder cancer in May 2012.
Earlier this month, Takeda was ordered to pay $6 billion in punitive damages as part of another Actos lawsuit.
Actos is the subject of thousands of lawsuits after evidence emerged that it could increase the risk of bladder cancer. In June 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that risk of bladder cancer was significantly higher in patients who took Actos for more than one year. Although records suggest that prescriptions only covered about 150 days of use, Cipriano told jurors “I remember taking it over a year,”
Cipriano said the she first noticed blood in her urine, and was then sent for tests before her doctor informed her of the diagnosis. “He called me on the phone and told me I had bladder cancer, and I didn’t think anybody could say that on the phone to you,” she testified. Cirpriano also said that she went through two surgeries before the cancer was done, but “He said it could come back without any warning,” She said that she is unable to do the activities she enjoyed before having cancer, citing physical and emotional limitations.

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