Canadian health officials issue Actos warning over bladder cancer risk

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by Michael Heygood

Health officials in Canada have issued a warning about the diabetes drug Actos, saying that the medication may increase a patient’s risk of developing bladder cancer. Health Canada’s Actos warning follows a similar action by the Food and Drug Administration, which warned about the link between Actos and bladder cancer in August 2011.

Concerns about the Actos bladder cancer risk were sparked in March 2011, when research by the European Medicines Agency found that patients who were prescribed the drug at the highest doses or for more than one year were significantly more likely to develop bladder cancer. In response to these findings, health officials in both France and Germany decided to issue an Actos recall.

Although the European Medicines Agency study uncovered a link between the longterm use of Actos and cancer, officials with Health Canada are not ruling out the possibility that the drug could cause bladder cancer with only short term use. The agency is recommending that doctors avoid prescribing Actos to patients who currently have bladder cancer, those who had the disease in the past, or patients who exhibit any symptoms of bladder cancer.

The first Actos lawsuit was filed against the drug’s manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, in August 2011. Attorneys involved with these cases are predicting that hundreds of lawsuits against Actos may eventually be filed by patients who developed bladder cancer after taking the drug.

If you or a loved one used Actos and were diagnosed with bladder cancer, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the drug. To learn more about your legal rights, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by completing our free online case evaluation form.