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| Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

It seems hardly a week goes by without a batch of new lawsuits being filed against Takeda, the maker of the diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone).

The medication was once seen as a promising for treatment of type 2 diabetes. It helped control blood sugar and appeared to have few side effects for many patients. It even allowed patients to reduce their use of injected insulin. Actos became the number one diabetes drug after Avandia (rosiglitazone from GlaxoSmithKline), was found to dramatically increase the risk of heart attacks four years ago.

But over the last few months the popularity of Actos has plummeted as evidence mounts that it increases the risk of bladder cancer.

Hundreds of lawsuits filed against Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd, the maker of the world’s biggest selling diabetes drug and Takeda has stopped selling the drug in several countries, the Insurance Journal reported.

As experienced Virginia (VA) dangerous drugs attorneys my colleagues and I believe that the marketing of Actos must stop everywhere. Takeda owes a duty to the public to ensure that its drugs, including Actos, is safe. It has clearly breached that important duty and is set to face the legal consequences.

The details of some of these lawsuits are disturbing. We recently reported that a 54-year-old woman sued Takeda, alleging she was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2009 as a result of using Actos for more than 10 years. She had two surgeries to remove tumors and ended up missing work and was unable to pay medical bills.

The Insurance Journal reported the FDA analyzed data from the first 5 years of a decadelong study on Actos. It concluded in June 2011 that risk of bladder cancer was 40 per cent higher for patients taking Actos for at least a year. That’s a significant risk factor.

Our law firm’s attorneys have reported on the terrible side effects of many drugs such as Bayer’s Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills and Paxil (paroxetine from GlaxoSmithKline) antidepressants.

As in the case of Actos, drug companies and regulators seem to have acted too slowly to address problems for patients. So as the only course now available to victims is legal action after the damage is done.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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