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Takeda Pharmaceutical and Eli Lilly were ordered by a Louisiana jury to pay $9 billion in damages over Actos being linked to bladder cancer.  Takeda, a Japanese drug maker, allegedly knew about the potential serious link between the drug and cancer, but did not inform doctors or patients. 

Takeda was ordered to pay $6 billion, and its partner, Eli Lilly $3 billion.

Both Takeda and Eli Lilly plan to fight the verdict.

Actos Approved for Use in 1999, FDA Releases Safety Announcement in 2011

Actos (pioglitazone) was approved for use in the United States in 1999, for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.  It was marketed to help improve blood sugar control in adults with the disease. 

In June 2011, the FDA released a Drug Safety Communication telling consumers that using Actos for more than a year could lead to an increased risk of bladder cancer.  The statement referred to data collected over a five-year span by the FDA which showed that “although there was no overall increased risk of bladder cancer with pioglitazone use, an increased risk of bladder cancer was noted among patients with the longest exposure to pioglitazone.”

The FDA also acknowledged results of a study in France that followed about 1.5 million patients with diabetes for up to 4 years.  That study showed a “statistically significant increase in the risk for bladder cancer in patients exposed to pioglitazone compared to patients exposed to other anti-diabetic agents.”

You should never stop or start an Actos prescription for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes unless instructed to do so by your physician.  You should also report any and all side effects to your doctor.

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer and Compensation for Damages

The only way to know if the Actos drug caused you or a loved one to develop bladder cancer is by making an appointment with your doctor.
But, there are some symptoms of the disease, including:

• Painful urination
• Frequent urinary tract infections
• Blood clots in the urine (hematuria)
• Urinating frequently, in small amounts
• Pain in the lower back
• Lower leg swelling
• Pelvic growth
• Anemia
• Weight loss
• Pain in the rectal, anal, pelvic areas

If you have one or more of these symptoms you should consult your physician.

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