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Takeda Put Actos Sales Over Patient Safety, Witness Testifies

Filed March 6th, 2013 admin

A clinical pharmacologist testified in Los Angeles state court that Takeda Pharmaceutical emphasized sales of its Actos Type II diabetes drug ahead of consumer safety.

Clinical pharmacologist, Howard Greenberg, took the stand in the first trial over claims that long-term use of Actos can cause cancer. Greenberg told jurors that in 2005 e-mails, Takeda officials highlighted protecting the product rather than its users when debating whether regulators in the US and Europe might seek warning labels about Actos’ potential links to bladder cancer, Bloomberg.com said. Greenberg also referenced a handful of e-mails from different levels of Takeda management that indicate that the product came first.

Actos was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999 and quickly became a top-selling drug. Regulators in Germany and France pulled Actos from their markets in 2011 after an analysis of a company-sponsored study showed some Actos users faced an increased risk of developing bladder cancer or heart problems, Bloomberg.com said. Also in 2011, the FDA announced it was reviewing a possible link between Actos and bladder cancer. Actos has since been suspected to increase risk of kidney, prostate and liver cancers.

Greenberg’s testimony was heard during a case brought forth by retired cable splicer, Jack Cooper, who was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011, Bloomberg.com said. Cooper said he took Actos for more than four years, over which time he and his doctors were not made aware of the risks associated with the Type II diabetes drug.

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