Bladder cancer group action associated with Actos™ diabetes drug

Registrations are now closed for this group action. 

Maurice Blackburn, in conjunction with United States law firm Meyers & Flowers, have lodged a claim in the US on behalf of Australian citizens related to the diabetes drug Actos™. Maurice Blackburn is representing people in Australia as part of a US group action against Takeda and Eli Lilly, the drug's co-manufacturers and distributors.

A study has found Actos™, which is used to treat Type 2 diabetes, contains an active ingredient linked to bladder cancer. The active ingredient in Actos™ is Pioglitazone, which has been found to increase the risk of bladder cancer for those taking it for more than 12 months, by 40 per cent.

Maurice Blackburn says the risks of Actos™ were well known in the US and in Europe, but consumers and prescribing doctors in Australia remained unaware of the potential side effects of the drug. We believe the co-manufacturers and distributors of this drug knew for some time about an increased risk of bladder cancer, but in spite of this, they took too long to issue appropriate warnings to people and doctors about prolonged use in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

We say the co-manufacturers and distributors were aware of at least two studies linking Actos™ to bladder cancer before the drug was registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US, but the results were deliberately concealed to ensure Actos™ was registered.

The FDA has since calculated that if patients took the drug for longer than 12 months it was associated with 27.5 excess cases of bladder cancer per 100,000 people, compared with those who never used the drug.

The FDA and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia have issued safety warnings to consumers and health practitioners about the active ingredient in Actos™.

It is important that anyone in Australia or New Zealand taking Actos™ should speak with their doctor. Actos™ may be effective in helping some people reduce high sugar levels, and no one should suddenly stop taking this drug without medical advice.

Cancer risk prompts Australia/NZ legal action over diabetes drug, media statement, 19 May 2013