(PRWEB) April 01, 2013
A drug liability trial that began in Los Angeles, California this month is getting close attention from the attorneys at Danziger & De Llano. At issue is whether Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the diabetes drug Actos, hid the link between the medication and a high risk of bladder cancer. The experienced product liability attorneys believe this case will be successful, and will be the first of thousands to be filed against the Japanese company.
Rod De Llano states that, "too frequently we're finding that drug company executives are in such a rush to make a profit that they are putting patients at risk; they're releasing products that they know have dangerous side effects or that they haven't thoroughly tested. We continue to hear from victims who experienced the dangerous side effects of Actos and are glad to see these litigations moving forward."
A Law360 article dated March 26, 2013 indicates that the actos lawsuit case is the first of several thousand that are waiting to be heard across the country, and quotes Dr. Norm D. Smith, an assistant professor of urology and surgery at the University of Chicago, as testifying that Actos was the most likely cause of the plaintiff’s advanced cancer. The plaintiff, Jack Cooper, was identified as having no family history of cancer. Dr. Smith further testified under cross examination that though Cooper had been a smoker, his smoking history was not extensive enough to have been a substantial factor in his diagnosis.
Cooper vs Takeda Pharmaceuticals
According to court documents, Jack Cooper is 79-years old and was diagnosed with bladder cancer after having been prescribed Actos and taking it for over five years. Dr. Smith estimated that he had taken over 55,000 milligrams of the drug, and that this was “the most substantial causative factor” in his illness; Cooper has been given a prognosis of between two and eight months left to live, and because his condition is so grave his suit against Takeda was chosen to proceed first. Cooper and his wife Nancy filed their lawsuit in early 2012.
Previous Testimony Accuses Takeda of Profit Motive Over Patient Concerns
An article by Bloomberg dated March 6, 2013 about the Cooper case cited testimony from a pharmacologist and drug researcher named Howard Greenberg, who indicated that he had seen internal emails between Takeda executives. He reported that those communications had expressed concerns that warnings about the drug’s risks would impact their sales; he also testified that the emails did not express concerns about the risk to patients.
The case number is CGC-12-518535, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, and the name of the case is Jack Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc.
Reports Linking Actos to Bladder Cancer Made Public in 2011
Actos is the brand name for the drug pioglitazone. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999, and became one of the most popular medications available for the treatment of Diabetes 2 shortly after its closest competitor, Avandia, was linked to increased risk of cardiovascular complications. The drug’s sales reached over $4.5 billion dollars in 2011, which was the same year that both the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products and Germany's Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices issued statements warning of bladder cancer risks. A Reuters reported dated June 10, 2011 indicated that France had removed the drug from the market entirely on June 9th and Germany had warned physicians against its use the following day. Five days later on June 15th, 2011, the FDA website indicated concerns about the increased risk of bladder cancer and required that warnings be added to all Actos product information.
Bladder Cancer Risks
According to the official foundation of the American Urological Association, over 70,000 Americans are diagnosed with bladder cancer every year, and over 15,000 die from the disease. Though it is treatable, it is also highly likely to return after remission, and treatment can be both traumatic and expensive. Actos patients who experience symptoms of bladder cancer, including pain or blood upon urination, should seek medical attention immediately. For those who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, legal action such as the Cooper case can be taken against Takeda Pharmaceuticals to seek compensation for damages suffered.