Actos, or pioglitazone, falls into a family of medications known as thiazolidinediones. Introduced by Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals in 1999, the medication was designed to help treat the symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes. However, studies and clinical trials have concluded that the drug may be linked to an increased risk of heart failure and bladder cancer.
Patients who have been diagnosed with a health condition or have suffered from adverse side effects are urged to seek legal counsel from Louisiana Actos attorneys for more information on filing a claim. Plaintiffs with a valid case may be entitled to seek compensation for their injuries including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
FDA Releases Warning
In June 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning to the public acknowledging that use of Actos for more than 12 months is strongly linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. The agency then placed stronger warning labels on the medication including a black-box warning to indicate an increased risk of heart failure.
Those diagnosed with bladder cancer may often need invasive and expensive treatments including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to treat the condition. Additionally, advanced stages of the cancer may require the removal of part of or the entire bladder and subsequently require additional surgeries to create an artificial bladder. Plaintiffs diagnosed with this condition are seeking compensation with the help of Louisiana Actos attorneys to help cover these expenses.
In light of the potential link between the drug and cancer, the FDA has also advised that the drug should not be prescribed to those currently living with the condition and should be prescribed with caution in those who have a history of the disease. The agency also advised physicians to be on alert for signs or symptoms that may indicate bladder cancer including:
- Urgent need to urinate but being unable to do so
- Pain during urination
- Lower abdominal or back pain
- Blood in urine
It is estimated that nearly half of all patients who develop bladder cancer, even those who go into remission, will once again develop the condition. Bladder cancer is also associated with recurring tumors, spreading to nearby organs and difficult, painful or impossible urination. Plaintiffs are seeking compensation with the help of Louisiana Actos attorneys to cover the costs of the condition.
Actos Lawsuits in Louisiana
Currently, there is a multidistrict litigation (MDL) pending in the Western District of Louisiana involving more than 2,500 claims. These lawsuits filed on behalf of Louisiana Actos attorneys allege that Takeda concealed knowledge that Actos was associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer and that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings to patients and doctors regarding the risk. The first bellwether trial is scheduled for January 2014 with subsequent bellwether trials scheduled for April 2014, November 2014 and January 2015. According to Louisiana Actos attorneys, the litigation was established in December 2011 after the FDA warned in June 2011 of an increased risk for bladder cancer after one year of use of the medication.
Louisiana Actos attorneys note that hundreds of other lawsuits are pending in state courts across the country. In June 2011, both Germany and France restricted the prescription and sale of the medication following a French study that concluded that patients were at an increased risk of developing bladder complications India soon followed suit and took similar action.
In April 2013, the U.S.’s first trial ended with a Los Angeles Superior Court awarding a plaintiff $6.5 million. The plaintiff was allegedly diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking the medication for a period of four years. However, the presiding judge decided to grant Takeda’s request to set the verdict aside.
What Does Actos Do?
The medication is an oral diabetes drug that helps to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, thus allowing for sugar to circulate throughout the bloodstream with ease. Actos has been a leading drug for type 2 diabetes across the country; in 2010, it raked in $5 billion in sales with 2.3 million patients filing prescriptions.
A similar medication, Avandia, was restricted by the FDA in 2011 due to an increased risk for heart attacks. Until this time, it had been the leading drug for type 2 diabetes; plaintiffs and Louisiana Actos attorneys filing lawsuits against Takeda claim that the manufacturer took this restriction to its advantage and began to aggressively market Actos as a safer alternative, claiming that patients would experience no or almost no side effects during treatment.
Why Contact a Louisiana Actos Attorney?
If you have taken Actos and have been diagnosed with bladder cancer or another serious injury, and you believe it may be a result of taking Actos, you may have the legal right to seek compensation for lost wages, medical care and other damages. At Attorney Group for Louisiana, we can evaluate your case at no cost to you and help answer questions you may have about filing a claim. If you would like to proceed with your lawsuit, we will connect you with an experienced Louisiana Actos lawyer who will represent you and work to seek the compensation to which you are entitled. So contact Attorney Group for Louisiana today for your free consultation.