Actos bladder cancer lawsuits offered for victims through Resource4thePeople

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Resource4thePeople announces referrals after FDA says long-term use of diabetes medication may put patients at higher risk of bladder cancer

Resource4thePeople announced today that it is following up on a Food and Drug Administration* warning that long-term use of Actos may put patients at increased risk of developing bladder cancer by providing access to legal help.

Resource4thePeople said that it has still not been determined how many of the millions of Americans who suffer from Type 2 diabetes and used the medication may have been affected by the FDA’s warning.

However, it is known that there have been so many Actos bladder cancer victims filing lawsuits over health problems that they have suffered that the federal court system has coordinated many of them in what is called a multi-district litigation in Louisiana.**

Resource4thePeople said that as more Actos bladder cancer victims come forward it will continue to provide referrals to lawyers offering free consultations in such cases.

These consultations can provide legal options to victims who may have suffered health problems as outlined in the June, 15, 2011 FDA warning which said:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing the public that use of the diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone) for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Information about this risk will be added to the Warnings and Precautions section of the label for pioglitazone-containing medicines. The patient Medication Guide for these medicines will also be revised to include information on the risk of bladder cancer.”

While the FDA has not banned Actos over this cancer link, in its warning agency officials acknowledge that similar concerns have caused government regulators in France to suspend sales of Actos counterparts in Germany to recommend it not be diagnosed for new patients:

“FDA is also aware of a recent epidemiological study conducted in France which suggests an increased risk of bladder cancer with pioglitazone. Based on the results of this study, France has suspended the use of pioglitazone and Germany has recommended not to start pioglitazone in new patients.”

In its warning the FDA made these recommendations to health care professionals:

  •     To not use pioglitazone in patients with active bladder cancer.
  •     To use pioglitazone with caution in patients with a prior history of bladder cancer. The benefits of blood sugar control with pioglitazone should be weighed against the unknown risks for cancer recurrence.

The FDA also announced it will continue to evaluate data from an ongoing ten-year epidemiological study and will also conduct a comprehensive review of the results from the French study.

The FDA said it will update the public when more information becomes available.

The FDA approved Actos in 1999 as the newest type of medication to treat Type 2 diabetes. The 2011 FDA warning came after agency officials said they analyzed the mid-way results of an ongoing 10-year epidemiological study of Actos side effects.

It was during that month that French officials halted sales of Actos and German officials made their announcement of concern.

The Louisiana multi-district litigation involves common lawsuits that have been filed against Asian pharmaceutical giant Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

The lawsuits involve claims by diabetes patients who took Actos that Takeda knew of the links between the medication and increased risks of developing bladder cancer but did not take adequate action to warn patients, health care professionals and government regulators.

The legal claims against Actos are clearly outlined in one of the lawsuits, which was initially filed in San Diego federal court*** before being transferred into the Louisiana multi-district coordinated action.

In the suit the plaintiff claims that he suffered costs and expenses that exceed $75,000 and alleges that he “was injured as a result of his use of Actos, and therefore seeks damages for pain and suffering, ascertainable economic losses, attorneys’ fees, reimbursement of cost of obtaining Actos, reimbursement for all past, present and future health and medical care costs related to Actos.”

The victim also is seeking compensation for his wife who, according to the lawsuit “was deprived of the care, consideration, compassion, consortium and concern” from the victim.

The victim claims that “as a result of the defective nature of Actos” he and other patients who were prescribed the drug suffer from bladder cancer, for which he was hospitalized.

“Defendants concealed and continue to conceal their knowledge of Actos’ unreasonably dangerous risk from Plaintiff, his physicians, other consumers, and the medical community,” according to the lawsuit.

“Specifically, Defendants failed to adequately inform consumers and the prescribing medical community about the risk of bladder cancer associated with more than twelve months of Actos ingestion.”

Also named as a defendant in this and other lawsuits in the multi-district litigation is another pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, which the plaintiff said collaborated with Takeda “to promote and market Actos.”

Lawyers for the victim also allege that “Defendants have yet to adequately inform consumers and the prescribing medical community about the risks of bladder cancer with the use of Actos for more than 12 months.”

Resource4thePeople is offering its resources to provide access to Actos bladder cancer lawyers to any diabetes patient who was prescribed and used Actos for treatment.

The same referrals are being offered to those who have lost a loved one to bladder cancer that was developed as a result of their use of Actos for treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

“Even though government regulators in France and Germany, out of concern for the health of their citizens, have stepped forward to take strict regulatory actions against Actos our own FDA has not banned the drug,” said Resource4thePeople.

“As more victims who may have developed bladder cancer as a result of Actos come forward Resource4thePeople wants to insure that they have access to justice through a complete understanding of their legal rights.”

** In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 6:11-md-2299) United States District Court Western District of Louisiana
*** Benton vs. Takeda, United States District Court for the Southern District of California:

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