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Usage of the Diabetes Drug, Actos, Sparks Lawsuits Across the Country

Earlier this week, we brought you news regarding the diabetes drug, Actos, and how Americans were becoming more aware of a very dangerous potential side effect – bladder cancer. Well, things don’t appear to be looking up for Japanese Manufacturer, Takeda Pharmecutical Industries Limited (“Takeda”).

Whistle Blower Lawsuit

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor reportedly issued an order to unseal a whistleblower case (Case 1:10-cv-11043-FDS) by a former medical reviewer in Takeda’s pharmacovigiliance division. Medical reviewer, Dr. Helen Ge, alleged that Takeda told medical reviewers to “change their professional opinion” regarding assessing certain reports of bladder cancer for FDA reporting. Apparently Takeda’s database for adverse events for Actos held more than 100 bladder cancers reported to the company; however, only 72 were reported to the FDA. Dr. Ge says she was fired when she raised the question about the discrepancies and Takeda’s general reporting practices.

Products Liability Lawsuits

To further add fuel to the fire, last week the US Drug Watchdog sent out an urgent call to individuals who were diabetics, took Actos, and were diagnosed with bladder cancer.  This knowledge has since sparked some 10,000 lawsuits across the country.

The Western District of Louisiana is currently handling the multidistrict litigation for all federal claims alleging injury caused by Actos (In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liabilty Litigation No. 6:11-md-2299). However, other cases have sprung up around the country as well.

Takeda’s Profits Take a Hit

In 2010, Actos ranked number nine in the top 10 selling prescription drugs in the country with sales of $3.5 billion.

These lawsuits, coupled with generic versions of Actos now being manufactured and sold by other companies, prompted sales of Actos to decrease 46.2 percent in 2012 from the previous year. From 2011 to 2012, Takeda estimated that sales of Actos will decline 67 percent. This loss is significant as Actos sales reportedly contributed up to 20 percent of Takeda’s 2011 revenue. In July 2012, the company’s stock fell to an 11-year low.

Remember to discuss your medication options with your health-care provider before stopping any current medications. But, if you’ve taken Actos and have experienced serious ailments, such as bladder cancer, you should seriously consider talking to an attorney about your condition.

 

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