Actos Mostly to Blame for Man’s Bladder Cancer, Doc Testifies


Actos Mostly to Blame for Man’s Bladder Cancer, Doc TestifiesOverview: Takeda’s Type 2 diabetes medication Actos was the main reason for a California man’s terminal bladder cancer, according to a doctor who testified on his behalf in the first Actos bladder cancer trial. Law 360 reports that Dr. Norm D. Smith, associate professor of surgery and urology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, testified this week on behalf of Jack Cooper, who took Actos from 2006 to 2011.

  • Doctor testifies that Actos was “the most substantial causative factor” in Jack Cooper’s terminal bladder cancer;
  • Cooper’s lawsuit, which is taking place in Los Angeles state court, is the first of 3,000 to go to trial
  • There are numerous studies suggesting that Actos is related to an increased risk of bladder cancer

Product: Actos (pioglitazone)

Manufacturer: Takeda Pharmaceutical

Side Effects & Complications

  • Bladder cancer
  • Heart attacks
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Hepatitis
  • Edema

Doc Testifies in Actos Trial

Taking Actos for five was the “the most substantial causative factor” in Cooper’s terminal bladder cancer, Dr. Smith testified on Tuesday in the Superior Court of the State of California, Los Angeles. He told jurors that Cooper did not have a family history of bladder cancer, and his history of smoking was not substantial enough to be a main causative factor for the cancerous tumor in his bladder. Smith testified that Cooper’s long-term therapy with Actos, which “comes out to about 55,000 milligrams” in five years, was the main reason be became ill. Attorneys for Takeda have argued that factors other than taking Actos, such as Cooper’s age, gender and history of smoking, caused his cancer. Smith, however, replied that with cancer risks and cigarette smoking, “Risk goes down a lot with time since quitting.” Cooper’s lawsuit is the first of 3,000 to go trial; his case was chosen first because of his terminal condition.

This lawsuit has gone to trial in state court, but many are pending in federal court as part of the multidistrict litigation entitled In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 6:11-md-2299). Judge Rebecca F. Doherty is presiding over the litigation and Jerrold S. Parker, founding partner of Parker Waichman LLP, serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.

Research Links Actos to Bladder Cancer

In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated the label on Actos to warn that use of the drug could increase the risk of bladder cancer after one year of exposure. The diabetes drug has also been suspended in France and Germany in light of these risks. Numerous studies have continued to suggest a link between Actos and an increased risk of bladder cancer. A study published in late January in Diabetic Medicine was the most recent to demonstrate this risk.