Actos (scientific name Pioglitazone) is a prescription drug intended to improve control over blood sugar in adults suffering from type 2 diabetes. When Actos was first marketed, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, the developer of Actos, labeled the drug with potential side effects, including weight gain, shortness of breath, and unusual tiredness. However, according to a June 2011 FDA drug safety alert, Actos can cause more serious side effects such as an increased risk of bladder cancer. This alert was in part prompted by findings from a five year study that found that patients who used Actos longer than 12 months showed a nearly 40% increase in their risk for developing bladder cancer. Further, a 2011 study by the American Diabetes Association also found a definite signal for bladder cancer associated with the use of Actos. Since the drug first appeared on the market, Takeda has consistently maintained that the benefits of taking Actos far outweigh any negative side effects, but the high number of patients developing serious problems while taking the drug eventually led to numerous lawsuits.
Lawsuits by patients suffering from these problems claim that Takeda failed to warn both the public and health care providers that people taking Actos for an extended period of time may develop an increased risk of bladder cancer. Further, there have been claims that Takeda hid research data indicating high risks and generally understood the danger of selling the drug, but disregarded this information in favor of maximizing earnings. In April 2015, Takeda initially agreed to pay $2.37 billion to settle nearly 8,000 Actos lawsuits nationwide. That amount was further increased to $2.4 billion because more than 97% of claimants decided to opt-in to the settlement. While individual settlement amounts are dependent on factors such as age, history of tobacco use and level of Actos exposure, an average award is anticipated to be around $250,000. While a provision in the settlement allows Takeda to maintain that Actos has more benefits than negative side effects, the company did agree to put more money aside for future settlements.
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Makers of prescription drugs have a duty to patients to produce safe products and to warn patients of all the dangers associated with using their drug. When these drug makers fail to live up to that duty, the experienced attorneys at Pope McGlamry will work to ensure they are held responsible for that failure. For a confidential case evaluation, please call (Atlanta-877-285-7656 or Columbus-877-265-7656) or contact us online.