Actos – the Cancer Causing Diabetes Treatment – Continues to Take Multi-Million Dollar Hits

Actos, (pioglitazone) is an oral medicine prescribed to patients who suffer from Type II Diabetes and is used to help control blood sugar levels. In 2011, the FDA announced that it would be reviewing the side effects of Actos after one study suggested that Actos patients faced a “disproportionate risk” of bladder cancer. The FDA eventually issued a warning saying that Actos was linked to increased risk of bladder cancer, especially after being used for a year or more.

Actos has been at the center of more than 8,000 lawsuits across the United States, including 3,500 that were consolidated in Louisiana.

April of 2014, the Louisiana federal jury ordered Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co. to pay more than $9 billion in damages. Eli Lilly & Co. and Takeda had a joint marketing agreement for the sale of Actos in the United States from July 1999 to April 2006. The significance of this $9 billion verdict cannot be underestimated because it was one of the bellwether cases among the 3,500 cases that were consolidated in the multidistrict litigation in Louisiana. The jury found that the manufacturers hid the risks of getting cancer from Actos from the plaintiffs, Terrence and Susan Allen. The trial judge reduced the verdict to $36.8 million, which still represented one of the largest pharmaceutical verdicts in recent years.

October of 2014, Takeda took yet another hit for $2 million in favor of plaintiff Frances Wisniewski, who similarly claimed that the manufacturer failed to warn her of the risk that Actos causes cancer. Unfortunately, Wisniewski got bladder cancer as a result of using Actos. The jury took 5 hours to deliberate and returned the $2 million verdict, based upon Tadeka’s failure to include adequate information about the potential links to bladder cancer on the warning labels.

Most recently, on February 12, 2015, a Philadelphia jury rendered a $3.65 million verdict in favor of another person who got bladder cancer from Actos. The plaintiff, John Kristufek, sued Takeda and other company subsidiaries claiming they concealed knowledge of Actos’ unreasonably dangerous risks from him, his physicians and other consumers. The complaint said that Kristufek was diagnosed with bladder cancer in August 2009, after having ingested Actos for about four years.

With thousands of lawsuits pending, it can be expected that the million dollars hits will keep on coming at Takeda.

If you or someone you know took Actos and were later diagnosed with bladder cancer, it may have been the result of your Actos usage. You should contact the experienced Jacoby & Meyers Actos attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Alexandra Bhatti, student intern Jacoby & Meyers.