A large number of lawsuits involving the case against the prescription drug Actos and its maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals are now being consolidated under one judge in the Western district court of Louisiana.
On December 28, 2011, The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has ordered more than 100 federally filed Actos lawsuits should be consolidated under one judge. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana assigned these federal Actos lawsuits to be heard by the Honorable Rebecca F. Doherty. (MDL #2299)
Harris Martin Legal Publishing reported that plaintiffs in an Actos Lawsuit filed a motion in the summer of 2011 to transfer 11 pending cases in federal district courts to now be heard by one judge for pretrial hearings. The plaintiffs also requested the coordinated docket to be moved to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The Court consented to the assignment and the subsequent order noted that over 100 cases will be transferred to Judge Doherty in Louisiana. Centralization of the Actos cases in the Western District of Louisiana permits the Judicial Panel to assign the litigation to an experienced judge who sits in a district in which no other multidistrict litigation is pending.
the petition for consolidation also said that In 2008, with the knowledge of the risk associated with developing Actos bladder cancer while using the drug long term, Takeda achieved its marketing goal by making Actos the tenth best-selling medication in the U.S., all while placing American citizens utilizing Actos at risk of developing bladder cancer” .
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced that as a result of a report released from a Kaiser Permanente medical study which indicated taking Actos for diabetes caused increased risks for bladder cancer, the Food and Drug Administration would begin its own review of the drug. The Kaiser study found that bladder cancer risks were increased with the amount of time and the cumulative dosage of Actos given to the patient.
In 2011, the FDA issued another statement informing consumers that taking Actos for over one year may be linked to increased risks for bladder cancer. Studies indicated a 40 percent increased risk for bladder cancer was seen in Actos treated patients when compared to people who never took the drug. The FDA now requires a statement be included in the “Warnings and Precautions” section of the Actos label citing the correlation between taking Actos and bladder cancer.
In Europe, both France and Germany have banned the sale of Actos as of June 2011 because of the health risks associated with the drug based on more recent European studies highlighting the use of Actos– causing increased instances of bladder cancer. Because of pending litigation both in the United States and abroad, the future of this medication used to treat diabetes remains uncertain.
Bloomberg News writer Jef Feeley reported recently that the number of lawsuits expected to be filed as a result of the health problems associated with taking drug Actos and its generic form pioglitazone could reach into the tens-of-thousands.
Actos (generic: pioglitazone), a drug created by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, was approved in 1999 for the treatment of Type II diabetes mellitus in the United States. In one year, Actos had global sales of nearly 5 billion dollars and accounted for almost 27 percent of Takeda Pharmaceuticals total revenue.