Actos News

Studies Confirm Actos Link to Bladder Cancer
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In June 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the use of the diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) increased the risk of bladder cancer. The warning came after the analysis of a study conducted by the drug's manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

According to the FDA, the risk of developing bladder cancer is heightened with prolonged exposure to the drug or accumulated dosages of the drug.

The FDA required that information about the risks of Actos be added to the labeling of the drug as well as the medication guide. The agency also recommended that the drug not be prescribed to people who suffer from blood cancer, or have a history of bladder cancer.

Actos cancer lawyers however find the agency’s actions inadequate. After all, the FDA’s warning came one week after the use of Actos was suspended by health agencies in France. In Germany, health authorities also halted the use of the drug. The French and German decision was based on a study by a French insurer. The study included nearly 1.5 million people who were treated for diabetes with Actos between 2006 and 2009. Soon after, the European Medicines Agency began its own review of Actos. In the U.S., the agency only warns against prolonged or accumulated use of the drug.

This is not the first time that the FDA has been found wanting in its reaction to dangerous drugs and its speed in removing these from the market. In the case of Avandia, another diabetes drug which has been linked to cardiac disorders and heart attacks, the FDA’s actions limiting access to the drug is in contrast to those in European countries which have banned the use of the drug.



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