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Filing: Takeda Feared Actos-Cancer Link, Conducted Secret Survey

Filed February 19th, 2013 admin

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. executives had serious concerns over their diabetes drug, Actos, being connected to cancer as far back as 2003, court filings show.

The filings revealed that Takeda executives questioned doctors on whether they would prescribe a drug that had a warning about cancer on its label, Bloomberg.com said. Takeda currently faces more than 3,000 lawsuits over Actos and its connection to an increased risk of cancer. The company secretly surveyed a dozen doctors in 2003 to see if they would use a diabetes drug with their patients that carried a warning about the potentially fatal ailment, lawyers for a former Actos user said in the filing, according to Bloomberg.com.

The survey found a bladder cancer warning would devastate the sales of Takeda’s most important drug, attorneys for ex-Actos user Jack Cooper said in the January 25 filing. Cooper’s case is the slated to be the first of the consolidated cases to go to trial and was scheduled to begin today in Los Angeles, Bloomberg.com said.

Actos gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999 and quickly became the world’s best-selling diabetes drug. Actos has come under fire in recent years due to its links to bladder, kidney and liver cancer. In June, 2011 Germany and France halted sales of Actos because of those concerns. Later that month, the FDA announced that it was reviewing Actos for a possible link to bladder cancer. Since, multiple studies have concluded that use of Actos for more than two years can significantly raise the user’s chance of developing cancer.

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