Back in August, plaintiffs suing the drug maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals filed motions to consolidate the lawsuits of bladder cancer patients who have taken Takeda’s drug Actos. On September 29, Takeda attorneys filed a response to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation agreeing with the plaintiffs that multidistrict litigation, or MDL, should be formed to consolidate all pre-trial litigation in these cases.
There is, however, disagreement over where the Actos bladder cancer lawsuits should be centralized. Attorneys for Takeda requested that all cases should be transferred either to the Western District of Louisiana or to the Northern District of Illinois.
The first plaintiffs filing a motion to consolidate made a request for all federal Actos claims to be transferred to U.S. District Court Judge G. Patrick Murphy in the Southern District of Illinois. Other plaintiffs have since filed responses requesting that different U.S. District Judges preside over the Actos litigation.
Takeda requested the Northern District of Illinois for consolidating litigation because that is the location of the drug maker’s U.S. headquarters and the location of many of the company’s records. The drug maker requested the alternative of centralizing the Actos MDL in Western District of Louisiana because at least 16 lawsuits are currently pending in that district.
The plaintiffs in the Actos litigation allege that they or a loved one developed bladder cancer as a side-effect of taking Actos, and that Takeda neither researched the medication properly, nor issued proper warnings about the risks involved with using the drug.
While Takeda’s attorneys do not agree with all of the plaintiffs’ assertions, they agree that the cases qualifiy for an MDL consolidation in order to reduce or eliminate duplicative discovery and contradictory rulings.
A schedule for oral arguments on the consolidation motion is expected when the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation holds a hearing on December 1 in Savannah, Georgia.
History of Actos Litigation
In July 1999, the FDA approved Actos (pioglitazone) to treat Type 2 diabetes. Taken once a day, this pill is used to increase the body’s insulin sensitivity. The popularity of Actos increased recently after studies linked Avandia, the primary competitor drug to Actos, to a higher risk of heart attacks, and even death. In the past year, Takeda Pharmaceuticals received 4.3 billion from Actos sales.
In September 2010, the FDA began reviewing the risk potential of bladder cancer problems in those taking Actos. They used interim data obtained from an on-going 10-year study that indicated an increased risk the longer users take the drug. The study, which is being conducted by the makers of Actos, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, indicates that the risk of bladder cancer hit statistical significance after 24 months of use.
On July 29, 2011, the first Actos lawsuit was filed. Takeda recently reported that it was aware of at least 54 cases filed in US district courts, according to documents filed by the drug maker this month. The number of lawsuits is expected to rise as attorneys review the claims of plaintiffs who have been diagnosed with bladder cancer following the use of the Type 2 diabetes drug.
If you or a loved one has suffered from severe side effects, including symptoms of bladder cancer, as a result of using Actos, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with prescription medication use. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.