Takeda hid information about link between Actos and bladder cancer, allege attorneys in Nevada litigation

by Jim Orr

Takeda Pharmaceuticals deliberately concealed information about the link between the diabetes drug Actos and bladder cancer, according to a lawsuit filed in Nevada on behalf of two men who were diagnosed with the disease. Attorneys representing George Decou, who has bladder cancer, and Maurice Iorio, who died from the disease in 2013, allege that Takeda knew that Actos could increase a patient’s risk of developing cancer, but hid this information until just months before its exclusive patent on the medication expired.

Actos was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of type II diabetes in 1999. The drug became the top selling diabetes medication in the U.S. after sales of a competing diabetes drug, Avandia, were banned in Europe and severely restricted in the U.S. over concerns about an increased risk of heart attack. By 2011, sales of Actos had reached $4.5 billion per year. However, that same year, the FDA revealed that a 10 year safety study of the drug had found that Actos users faced an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Subsequent studies have also found that diabetes patients taking Actos could also face an increased risk of developing prostate cancer or pancreatic cancer.

According to the lawsuit, Takeda destroyed eight hard drives worth of data belonging to company executives that contained information about the potential side effects of Actos. Among these records were documents related to a 1993 decision by drugmaker Upjohn to pass on Actos over safety concerns about the drug. Attorneys for the two men argued that this destruction of records makes it more difficult to know just how much Takeda knew about the link between Actos and bladder cancer before the company placed the blockbuster drug on the market.

However, testimony in other Actos lawsuits has helped to provide information about Upjohn’s concerns about the safety of the diabetes drug. According to testimony from a scientist who conducted pre-market studies of Actos in 1993, Upjohn told Takeda that it would back away from development and sales of Actos because of its concerns about the drug’s safety for patients. The scientist testified that Takeda asked Upjohn to state that it was backing away because of doubts about the effectiveness of Actos, rather than potential dangers that the drug could cause for patients.

Takeda is facing more than 3,000 lawsuits across the country filed on behalf of Actos users who were diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking the diabetes drug. In the first of these lawsuits to go to trial, a California jury awarded a $6.5 million verdict to an Actos user who doctors said only had months to live after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. In class action lawsuit filed on behalf of Actos users, Takeda and Eli Lilly were hit with a $36.8 million verdict over the link between the diabetes drug and cases of bladder cancer. In April, Takeda agreed to pay a $2.4 billion settlement to resolve the thousands of bladder cancer lawsuit filed by diabetes patients who used the drug. Numerous other lawsuits filed against Takeda by patients who were diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking the diabetes drug are still pending.

Actos Users Diagnosed With Cancer May Qualify To File A Lawsuit

Patients who were diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for their injuries and medical costs. Actos users who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or prostate cancer may also qualify to file a lawsuit.

Because the risk of bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer increases the longer a patient has been treated with Actos—and because it may take years after a patient has been treated with the diabetes drug before the first symptoms of cancer are detectable—patients who were treated with Actos years ago may only now develop signs of cancer. Actos users who have been diagnosed with bladder, pancreatic, or prostate cancer—or those who developed symptoms of these diseases—may be eligible to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation for their injuries. The first step in taking action to file a case is to speak with an experienced team of attorneys to help guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit.

Our law firm, Heygood, Orr & Pearson, is pursuing Actos lawsuits on behalf of our clients and will be involved closely with the Actos MDL and other litigation matters regarding the diabetes drug. Our attorneys have accumulated years of training and experience in handling product liability lawsuits involving dangerous drugs or defective medical devices, including cases involving the fentanyl pain patch, Yaz, and Avandia. The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have achieved verdicts and settlements of more than $200 million on behalf of our clients in lawsuits relating to dangerous pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and other medical products. Our attorneys will work diligently on your behalf to ensure that you receive the results that you deserve in your case.

For a free legal consultation from an attorney about filing a lawsuit and to learn more about whether you may qualify to file a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also contact us 24 hours a day by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few simple questions about your history to get started.