Type 2 diabetes patients should check with their doctor if they’re taking Actos – the medication has been linked to bladder cancer in several medical studies. Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Actos, didn’t admit liability but settled around 9,000 lawsuits related to the drug and owes $2.37 billion as part of the settlement. Patients taking Actos filed lawsuits for a number of reasons including Takeda’s failure to warn the public and health care providers that taking Actos could increase bladder cancer risk if taken for longer than a year, failing to properly test the drug, distributing the drug despite knowledge of dangerous side effects, and withholding research data on Actos from the public.
Actos has been banned in France, Germany and India, but is still on the market in the U.S. with a Food and Drug Administration warning about bladder cancer. Symptoms of bladder cancer include abdominal pain, frequent or painful urination, and blood in urine. Bladder cancer usually occurs in individuals over the age of 55, and the average age of diagnosis is 73. In 2015, 74,000 new cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed in the U.S. and men have 3 to 4 times the risk of developing bladder cancer to women. If you take Actos, talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have after reading this blog.