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Actos Lawsuit

Actos bottles on pharmacy shelfMany thousands of Americans have filed Actos lawsuits against Japanese drug maker Takeda, claiming that the company failed to warn the public or the medical community about the dangers of its popular type 2 diabetes drug. The Actos lawyers at Eisbrouch & Marsh are currently reviewing cases of New Jersey residents who developed bladder cancer and/or heart failure after taking Actos to treat diabetes. If you are an Actos cancer victim, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for the damages you have sustained, including recovery for medical expenses, pain & suffering, loss of quality of life, and more. Call the product liability attorneys at Eisbrouch & Marsh today for a no-charge, no-obligation evaluation of your legal options.

Actos— a popular treatment for Type 2 diabetes now target of litigation

The prescription drug Actos (pioglitazone) treats Type 2 diabetes, and has also been linked to serious health complications, including an increased risk of bladder cancer. The drug, jointly manufactured by Elli Lilly and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, comes in tablet form in daily doses of 15mg—45mg. Diabetes is a metabolic disease that occurs when the body does not produce sufficient amounts of insulin, causing glucose levels in the blood to spike abnormally. Actos works by lowering both insulin resistance and the production of glucose in the liver, so that the body can better process excess blood sugars. Since its approval in 1999 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Actos has fast become a medicine of choice for persons suffering from Type 2 diabetes, generating annual revenues in recent years topping $4.5 billion and representing almost a third of Takeda’s and Eli Lilly’s total revenues. Actos has reaped these lucrative gains for its makers despite an increase in scrutiny over the drug’s alleged links to serious complications and side effects—and in the face of a growing spate of Actos lawsuits across the country.

Major side effects linked to Actos

Heart failure. Kidney disease. Bladder cancer. The list of serious complications attributed to Actos reads like a bulletin of ways to die prematurely. Yet the FDA’s recent move to require stronger warnings and precautions on the Actos label suggests such potential complications, especially bladder cancer, should be weighed carefully when considering whether to take the medication. The new label, as of August 2011, and after an initial ban of the drug in Europe, now includes a warning that a year or more of taking Actos raises one’s chances of contracting bladder cancer. Medical providers in the U.S. and Europe have been instructed to prescribe the drug only as a medicine of last resort for Type 2 diabetes (when other medicines are not an alternative).

Other side effects linked to Actos include:

  • Lactic acidosis, a potentially fatal condition characterized by gastrointestinal discomfort, including diarrhea, muscle pain or cramping, decreased appetite, shallow breathing and sleepiness
  • Bone fractures, especially in the hands, feet, ankles and lower legs

Actos and heart failure

Actos, like other drugs in the same family of so-called thiazolidinediones (TZDs), is known to cause or worsen congestive heart failure—and for this reason Actos comes with a black-box warning on its label that urges users to pay attention to symptoms such as excessive, rapid weight gain, difficulty breathing, and fluid retention and swelling.

Actos and chronic kidney disease

Actos, a Taiwan study found, causes a fourfold increase in risks of chronic kidney disease, which is the gradual loss of kidney function over time. The disease in its final stages is known as end-stage renal disease, manifested by an inability of the kidneys to excrete excess waste and fluid, a condition which requires dialysis.

Actos and liver failure

Some reports of liver failure among patients taking Actos do not definitely link the drug to liver failure—nor do they eliminate the potential risks, hence the instructed precautions to monitor potential symptoms of liver failure in the form of fatigue, anorexia, upper abdominal discomfort and dark urine.

Actos and bladder cancer lawsuits

In recent years, thousands of patients once prescribed Actos and now afflicted with the deadly disease of bladder cancer are taking their cases to court. They accuse the drug’s makers of negligence; Takeda and Lilly, they say, knew of Actos’ links to bladder cancer but withheld this critical information from patients, shamelessly profiting from their ignorance. If the jury is still out in places about the legitimacy of these claims, it is clear that at least some juries have stood squarely on the side of plaintiffs. A Louisana jury awarded $9 billion in punitive damages and $1.5 million in compensatory damages to a Terrence Allen, a former New York shopkeeper who said Actos caused his bladder cancer. Allen’s lawyers made a persuasive case that the manufacturers of Actos were “more concerned with making money” than they were with the welfare of patients.

Actos bladder cancer risks

Whatever the concerns or motivations of a drug manufacturer, clinical findings would suggest that there is indeed evidence of a link between taking Actos and higher risks of bladder cancer. One study has found that Actos poses an 83 percent higher risk of leading to bladder cancer in patients who have taken the drug for an extended period of time (over a year). Rats administered the drug suffered from bladder tumors, and the FDA, on the heels of a couple of studies that found a higher frequency of bladder cancer in patients on Actos than in patients on other medicines, has required that Takeda undertake a 10-year study of the drug’s link to bladder cancer. The following symptoms may be an indication of bladder cancer. If you or a loved one is taking Actos and notices any of the below symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.

Symptoms of bladder cancer:

  • Bloody urine
  • Pain when urinating
  • Increased urge to urinate
  • Unusual back pain

How an Actos lawyer can help

If you or a loved one has experienced serious complications from the drug Actos, you are not alone. The personal injury lawyers at Eisbrouch & Marsh are here to help. If you live in New Jersey or the greater New York area, consider a complimentary consultation with our attorneys. For more than 25 years, we’ve been fighting on behalf of victims of dangerous drugs like Actos. Our winning team of medical experts and seasoned lawyers can help you retrieve what you’ve lost and more in the form of wages, medical bills, and sheer pain and suffering. Why look back when you can look forward—to a future in which you are no longer a victim, a future in which big drug companies prospering from your bad health are finally held accountable? Call the Actos lawyers at Eisbrouch & Marsh today at 201-342-5545.