According to a new study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, patients with type 2 diabetes have a 40% increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Evidence found in the study reveals that those patients who have been taking pioglitazone, which goes by its brand name, Actos, suffer from a greater incidence of the cancer. Actos is prescribed to Type 2 diabetes patients and is formulated to make the body more sensitive to insulin. It was initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999 and has resulted in billions of dollars in sales.
These results published in the CMAJ seem to bolster the findings of another study, published in the British Medical Journal on May 31, which found that patients taking Actos for two years have nearly double the risk of developing bladder cancer. The FDA issued a safety announcement in 2011 warning that patients taking Actos for more than one year were at an increased risk.
The dangerous drug has already been recalled in France and Germany after pressure was asserted by the French equivalent of the FDA. French authorities instructed doctors to stop prescribing the drug after it reviewed the results of its own study. German authorities followed suit soon after the action by French officials.
More than 100 lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer of the drug, Japanese Company Takeada Pharmaceuticals and its partner in marketing the drug, Eli Lilly. In December, those suits were consolidated in the federal district court in the Southern District of Louisiana.