Millions of diabetes patients were prescribed Actos to help control their blood sugar levels. Actos is a drug that, along with proper diet and exercise, helps to restore the body’s proper response to insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes. Patients with high blood sugar are at risk of developing kidney damage, nerve damage, blindness and even heart attack or stroke. Although Actos does help with diabetes, studies have found that the drug causes serious, life-threatening side-effects such as heart failure and bladder cancer.
In 2011, patients began filing lawsuits against Takeda and Eli Lilly, makers of the drug, arguing the company failed to warn the public of side effects and knowingly concealed safety concerns. Other suits claim the manufacturer: failed to warn health care providers that taking Actos longer than 12 months may increase the risk of bladder cancer; failed to properly test Actos; concealed research data; provided misleading data to health care providers and the general public; manufactured an unsafe product; knew the dangers of the product, but sold it anyway; and breached their warranty by selling a drug that was not fit for human consumption.
According to webmd.com, “Researchers analyzed data on more than 115,000 people who were treated with diabetes drugs from 1988 to 2009. Overall, 470 people were diagnosed with bladder cancer during about 4.6 years of follow-up. These individuals were compared with healthy people. People who had ever taken Actos had an 83% increased risk of bladder cancer, the researchers found. This risk increased when individuals took the diabetes drug for more than two years and when they took higher doses of it.” The website goes on to say that the manufacturers claim they had not reviewed those studies and were performing their own studies.
Also in 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a “Drug Safety Communication,” stating that based on dose and duration of use, there was an increased risk of developing bladder cancer while taking Actos. Although the manufacturer updated their warning label, they did not update the drug’s black-box label, indicating the risk of developing bladder cancer.
The main reason people file lawsuits against Actos is to obtain compensation for medical expenses and other losses related to bladder cancer and heart failure that occurred while taking the drug. Bladder cancer is a serious condition that if caught at an early stage is highly treatable; however, if not diagnosed early on, cancer cells can spread to other vital organs and cause serious damage or even death. Symptoms of bladder cancer include: blood in urine, frequent urination, painful urination, back pain and pelvic pain.
Your doctor may order a blood test, chest x-ray, CT scan, MRI or ultrasound to help diagnose the disease. Once positively diagnosed, there are several treatment options such as surgery, chemotherapy, biological therapy and radiation therapy. All of these treatments are expensive and require a great deal of time away from work. Inability to work because of health issues can lead to loss of income for both the patient and caregivers. Other compensatory matters include pain and suffering due to long-term damage and emotional anguish, medical bills and funeral expenses.
Pain and suffering due to a drug maker’s negligence or misconduct is an unacceptable practice. If you or a loved one has taken Actos and suffered any severe side effects such as bladder cancer, stroke or heart failure, you are entitled to be compensated for emotional, physical and financial damaged to you and your loved ones. Call our law offices today at 877-448-8585 and schedule a free consultation with one of our Miami Lawyers so we can assist you in filing a lawsuit against Takeda and Eli Lilly, the makers of Actos.