Manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the drug is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other medications. Actos is also known by its generic name, pioglitazone.
Unfortunately, the use of Actos is now linked to increased risk of bladder cancer in patients taking the medication for more than a year and other serious side effects. Users have reported dangerous signs of congestive heart failure and pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), such as shortness of breath, swelling of the feet and weight gain. Bone fractures also occurred in older adults.
After Actos was on the market for 13 years, the FDA forced the manufacturer to update the drug’s warning label to spell out these potentially life-threatening dangers. However, for Actos users who were already diagnosed with bladder cancer, this was simply too little too late.
On April 7, 2014, a jury in the first federal case to go to trial ordered Actos manufacturers, Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co. and Eli Lilly and Co., to pay more than $9 billion in damages after finding the diabetes drug Actos caused the plaintiff’s bladder cancer. Of this amount, $1.475 million was awarded to the plaintiff for the damages he suffered as a result of his bladder cancer and other associated injuries, and $9 billion dollars was awarded as punishment for Takeda’s and Eli Lilly’s concealment of the risk of bladder cancer with Actos. Stephanie O’Connor of Douglas & London served on the trial team, and Kristin Padden of Douglas & London served as primary associate assistant to the trial team.
In 2015, Takeda entered into an agreement to settle all 9,000 pending claims for $2.4 billion. Douglas and London represented 150 plaintiffs and secured $36 million of the settlement funds for our clients.