A Louisiana judge has set a preliminary court date for the pending lawsuits against drug giant Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The defective drug lawsuits are in regards to Takeda's number one diabetes drug, Actos, which is believed to carry an increased risk of bladder cancer.
Takeda's parent company in Japan stopped the sale of Actos in France and Germany last year, around the time the first lawsuit was filed. Despite being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1999, the FDA first issued warnings about the link between Actos and bladder cancer in 2010; without any distinct proof, however, sales continued. A warning for Actos users with Type 2 Diabetes has always been on the package, but only recently has the link been made for non-Type 2 diabetics as well.
It is expected that thousands of claims will be filed by the end of this year in Lafayette, Louisiana, which is where the federal trial will be held. Several hundred more are expected to be heard in Illinois and California courts as well.
The suits filed in California and Illinois state courts include claims that people who use Actos over a prolonged period, specifically over one year, have a higher risk of bladder cancer.
The majority of the California based defendants have been using Actos for an extended period. Users feel they should have been warned before staying on a potentially fatal drug for such a long period of time. Family members of those who have filed lawsuits simply want Takeda to take responsibility for their wrong doing.
Source: CBS News, "Judge sets 1st hearing for diabetes drug lawsuits," Feb. 12, 2012.