What is Actos?
Actos (generic: pioglitazone) is an oral medication used to lessen blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones (TZDs) that work by lowering insulin resistance, which is the underlying problem for most type 2 diabetics.
Which Side Effects has Actos Been Linked to?
Serious side effects of Actos may include:
- Bladder cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Congestive heart failure
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- Liver damage
- Bone fractures
- Macular edema
Are There Other Side Effects?
Other, less serious side effects that may occur when taking Actos include:
- Cold or flu-like symptoms (stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat)
- Gradual weight gain
- Muscle pain
- Back pain
- Tooth problems
- Mouth pain
What is the Risk of Developing Bladder Cancer from Actos?
According to the interim results of a 5-year study conducted by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, people who used Actos for over 1 year were 40% more likely to develop bladder cancer. Another study performed in France found that Actos users were more likely to get bladder cancer compared to patients who took another diabetes medication, regardless of how long it was taken.
Who Should Not Take Actos?
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has warned physicians not to prescribe Actos to patients with bladder cancer or who have a history of bladder cancer. People with liver problems or severe heart problems should also carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits before deciding to take the drug.
Has Actos Been Recalled?
Despite being linked to cancer, heart failure and other serious side effects, the FDA has not issued a recall for Actos. However, health officials in France and Germany have already stopped or severely restricted sales of Actos due to data about the risk of bladder cancer associated with the medication.
Is There a Class Action?
Takeda has been hit with thousands of lawsuits filed on behalf of people alleging bladder cancer from Actos. These complaints are not part of a class action — they are individual lawsuits. Most of the cases were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2299) in the Western District of Louisiana.
Have There Been Any Settlements?
Yes. In April 2015, Takeda agreed to settle about 9,000 Actos lawsuits for between $2.37 billion and $2.7 billion, depending on the number of plaintiffs who signed onto the agreement. Many of the settled cases were part of MDL No. 2299. There are still a number of outstanding claims.
What are Actos Lawsuits Alleging?
Lawsuits filed by people injured by Actos list a number of counts against the manufacturers including:
- Failing to warn that taking Actos for longer than 1 year may increase the risk of bladder cancer
- Manufacturing an unsafe and/or defective product
- Failing to properly test Actos
- Concealing testing and research data from the public
- Providing misleading data to the public
- Knowing the dangers of the product, but selling it anyway to maximize profits
- Breaching warranty by selling a drug that was not fit for use
What Compensation May I be Awarded?
If our lawyers determine that you have a valid claim, you may be awarded compensation to assist with:
- Medical expenses / funeral expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages