As medical researchers continue to analyze dangerous side effects from popular medications yet another has found that there is an increased risk for diabetes patients of developing bladder cancer if they have been taking Actos.
The study by Canadian medical experts found that any patient suffering from type 2 diabetes is at risk of developing cancer. However, those who are taking diabetes drug Actos are at much higher risk, even as much as 22 percent higher.
The findings were published on U.S. News and World Report’s HealthDay web page and the report said that while the individual risk of coming down with bladder cancer is low, “Taking pioglitazone (brand name Actos) raised the risk of bladder cancer by about one-fifth, according to a new analysis of previously completed studies.”
“The evidence suggests that this drug is associated with about a 22 percent increased risk of bladder cancer,” the site quoted study senior author Jeffrey A. Johnson, the Canada Research Chair in Diabetes Health Outcomes at the University of Alberta School of Public Health, in Canada.
The findings come as massive numbers of Actos bladder cancer lawsuits are proceeding through the court system. One group of federal Actos lawsuits involving hundreds of plaintiffs has been consolidated in what is called a multi-district litigation in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Louisiana.
That litigation is in the early stages of organization and evidence gathering and more Actos bladder cancer patients are still eligible to join in the lawsuits because the first trials are not scheduled to begin until November of 2014.
“We continue to hear from patients who developed bladder cancer after using Actos for many months or years. We look forward to continued progress in this litigation in the coming year,” said one of the Actos attorneys involved in the litigation in a press release.
Actos patients who have developed bladder cancer are now eligible for free consultations with these Actos lawyers for an experienced evaluation of what legal options may be available to them to obtain compensation for these life-threatening side effects.
Among the allegations contained in these lawsuits are that the drug’s manufacturer, Asian drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceuticals, are that Takeda officials sold Actos to patients even while they were aware of the risks of bladder cancer.
In addition, according to the allegations, Takeda not only failed to report adverse reports of these side effects that they were receiving, the company’s executives attempted to cover up these increasing numbers of reports of bladder cancer.
Drug manufacturers have an ethical and legal obligation to inform patients, physicians and government regulators about health risks, according to the allegations.
Similar allegations are contained in another group of lawsuits that are pending in state courts across the country with the first trial in that wave of litigation scheduled to begin Feb. 13 of this year in Los Angeles, Ca.
The HealthDay report also said that this isn’t the first time that Actos has been associated with heightened odds for bladder cancer: A study published May 31 in BMJ found that taking Actos for two years can double the risk.
The story quoted Professor Johnson as saying that it’s not clear yet how Actos might raise the risk of bladder cancer, but he said some animal studies suggested that the drug could cause crystals to form that irritate the bladder, which could potentially play a role in the development of bladder cancer.