Actos News

Opening Statements for First Actos Bladder Cancer Trial
Establish Timeline of Alleged Negligence
Thursday, February 28, 2013

Central Civil West Courthouse, Superior Court of California in Los AngelesThe attorney for a California man who claims he developed terminal bladder cancer as a result of taking the diabetes drug Actos delivered opening remarks in California state court on Thursday, February 28. The case is the first of thousands of similar Actos bladder cancer lawsuits nationwide to go to trial. Plaintiff’s attorneys used their opening statement to lay out a timeline of actions taken by Actos manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals that demonstrate a consistent effort to conceal from doctors and patients scientific evidence linking Actos to bladder cancer.

Counsel for Jack Cooper, who is believed to have only several months to live, alleges that there was sufficient information from medical studies completed by 2005 to warn patients that Actos significantly increased the risk of developing bladder cancer. Among those studies was a Kaiser Permanente Northern California epidemiological study that Cooper’s attorney stated demonstrated a significantly increased risk of getting bladder cancer – a risk that was not, according to the lawyer, reported to doctors.

Jurors heard that Cooper began taking Actos in September, 2006, three months after a second related study, the Kaiser nested case control study, found that Actos doubled bladder cancer risk in patients who had taken it for more than a year. They were told that Takeda sales reps made 195 visits to Cooper’s treating physician after Cooper was put on Actos, but bladder cancer and the studies that had linked Actos to bladder cancer were never mentioned.

According to the plaintiff, a company hired by Takeda to see if taking Actos resulted in increased life expectancy reported in the summer of 2006 that treatment with Actos actually led to a lower life expectancy and quality adjusted life expectancy when compared to placebo.

In their opening statement, counsel for the defendants claimed that Cooper was at risk for developing bladder cancer already due to several factors including his age, male status and diabetes. They argued that Takeda had cooperated fully with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Actos product labeling and that their experts would testify that Actos has no increased risk of bladder cancer. Left unaddressed was the question of why Takeda sales reps avoided mentioning bladder cancer, as alleged by the plaintiff, if, as Takeda claims, Actos posed no increased risk to patients. 

The trial is scheduled to resume on Tuesday, March 4.




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