John Faique of North Carolina began taking Actos in 2007 in an effort to control his Type 2 diabetes. After trusting the medication for three years he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2010 and died a month later, according to court documents.
Seven months after Faique’s death, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a public announcement directed at consumers and health care professionals warning about an established link between Actos and bladder cancer.
In its health warning the FDA said that “use of the diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone) for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.
The FDA’s confirmation of the risks of Actos bladder cancer came too late for Faique as it has for many other Actos victims who have developed bladder cancer as a result of their trust in the drug.
Now, Faique’s widow, Norma Faique, has joined the list of people who have filed an Actos bladder cancer lawsuit, seeking compensation from the drug’s manufacturer, Asian drug giant Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
As in the overwhelming number of Actos lawsuits, Faique’s widow claims that Takeda failed to inform her husband, other Actos patients, physicians and the FDA about this dangerous side effect. More on Actos Lawsuits
A review of court dockets across the country shows that Actos lawsuits are being filed on a daily basis over the same allegations. There is already such a large amount of cases that many are being consolidated before a single judge as Actos victims seek what legal experts say may be billions of dollars in damages to be paid out in settlements and jury awards.
The warning flags about the dangers of Actos have long been waved:
- Actos lawsuits have been filed for several years by patients who claim their bladder cancer was caused by the medication.
- The FDA has issued safety warnings about the drug citing the increased risk of bladder cancer and issued updated drug label warnings and recommendations for physicians over the link to bladder cancer.
- The FDA later issued an even stronger warning that use of Actos for more than a year was not being recommended because of the link to bladder cancer.
- Even before the FDA’s safety warning, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen slapped a “Do Not Use” warning on the medication “because its many risks do not outweigh its benefits” and safer diabetes drugs are available.
- Public health officials in both Germany and France have either suspended sales of Actos or recommended that no new patients be treated with the drugs.
FDA officials said the Actos warning came after a review of data complied half way through a 10-year study of 193,099 diabetes patients in which researchers said that patients who used Actos for longer than 12 months had a 40 percent increased risk of developing bladder cancer over patients who did not use the medication.
With all of this as a backdrop, John Faique’s survivors must also be dismayed to learn that the FDA has refused calls to ban Actos while Takeda is still making huge profits from the sale of the medication. The company reported that about 25 percent of its 2011 revenue came from Actos sales.