The pharma giant Takeda Pharmaceutical is facing tens of thousands of lawsuits in the United States concerning allegations that its Actos diabetes drug can result in bladder cancer.
With regulators deciding earlier this year that Actos, which has the chemical name of pioglitazone and is prescribed for adults with type 2 diabetes, could sometimes cause a heightened risk from cancer, judges are now assessing whether the various lawsuits should be consolidated.
Takeda has already removed the drug from sale in France and Germany due to links with increased cancer risk, and sales from the drug, its biggest seller, have fallen around the world. The company has already been sued a number of times over the drug in the federal courts in the US, and it is thought that thousands more lawsuits will take place over the coming months and years.
Mitsuo Oguri, a spokesperson for Takeda, commented “Takeda already revised the information on risks regarding bladder cancer on leaflets in the U.S. and Japan and is in the process of updating in Europe.”
He added “Takeda remains confident on the efficacy of pioglitazone for treating type 2 diabetes, while it continues to monitor the safety profile of the medicine.”
Actos became more popular as a diabetes treatment following the controversy over another drug, Avandia, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, which was shown to increase the risk of heart attacks. Avandia has already been withdrawn from sale throughout Europe.

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