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Testimony: Actos Responsible for Man’s Terminal Bladder Cancer

Filed March 29th, 2013 edlieber1

The first trial involving someone who claims that taking the Type 2 diabetes drug Actos caused them to develop terminal bladder cancer continued this week in Los Angeles.

According to a report, a California urologist testified this week that Jack Cooper’s terminal bladder cancer was most likely caused by taking Actos for five years. On the stand, Dr. Norm D. Smith said that Actos was “the most substantial causative factor” in Cooper developing terminal bladder cancer.

Cooper is the first person making the claim that Actos, marketed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, causes bladder cancer to have their case reach a jury trial. Cooper’s case was moved to the front of all other lawsuits because of his grim prognosis; he has up to eight months to live, according to the report.

Testifying at the trial this week, Smith countered claims from Takeda that attempted to blame Cooper’s cigarette smoking habit on the development of bladder cancer. Smith told jurors that Cooper does not have a family history of cancer and that he didn’t smoke enough to have caused the disease, according to the report.

As we’ve reported, this case is the first of more than 3,000 lawsuits to be filed against Takeda Pharmaceuticals that alleges the company hid data that showed its drug was linked to fatal bladder cancer. The spate of lawsuits and complaints, combined with supporting data, prompted a 2011 warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that taking Actos for more than a year can significantly increase the risk of developing bladder cancer.

At the same time, health officials in France and Germany suspended all sales of Actos because of the apparent risk of bladder cancer associated with it, also based on our previous reporting.


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