Recently, the FDA announced its approval of the first generic version of type 2 diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) despite a mounting number of lawsuits pending against the manufacturer of the brand name drug, Takeda Pharmaceuticals. A few days after that approval, Consumer Reports took the bold step of recommending that its readers avoid using both the brand name and any generic versions of the drug.
The consumer watchdog group said that, “Our medical advisers say that people with diabetes should use pioglitazone, generic or brand name Actos, only as a last resort.” Consumer Reports said that Actos should not be tried unless all other options have failed. The organization went further, saying that patients already taking the prescription drug should talk to their doctor about the possibility of switching to metformin or various other options.
Actos, and its new generic counterpart, can cause serious side effects, such as an increased risk of heart failure, bone fractures, and bladder cancer. Other medications to treat diabetes, such as metformin, are thus better first choices, according to Consumer Reports.
For more than a year, warnings have been around over the safety of Actos. In June of 2011, it was reported that Germany and France had banned Actos after a study indicated long-term use could increase bladder cancer occurrences by as much as 40%. In April of this year, Health Canada issued a warning after a study there showed a greater than 40% increased risk of bladder cancer from Actos use. In May, the British Medical Journal published a study which indicated that increased bladder cancer risks from long-term Actos use may actually be as high as 83%.
Given the recent studies linking Actos to bladder cancer and blurred vision, it’s a wonder that the drug is still being marketed to patients. Attorneys at Pope McGlamry P.C. are currently taking and filing cases against manufacturers to hold them liable for distributing defective products. If you or a loved one has suffered from bladder cancer and you think that it is because of Actos, contact our Georgia product liability litigation attorneys today and schedule a free consultation.
Source: “New generic version of the diabetes drug Actos is one ‘bargain’ to avoid,” by Steve Mitchell, published at ConsumerReports.org.