The diabetes drug Actos, which is also known as pioglitazone, has been suspended in France because of worries over a heightened risk of cancer, it has emerged.
Actos, which is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, will be withdrawn in France by the drug regulator AFSSAPS due to a study finding that the drug resulted in a small increase in the risk of bladder cancer. There are currently an estimated 230,000 patients taking Actos in France.
However, it has been recommended by the regulator that those patients who are still taking the Actos should not immediately stop their treatment, but check with their doctor first. In their assessment of both the benefits and risks of the drug, AFSSAPS also said that doctors should stop prescribing the diabetes drug .
Actos is Takeda’s bestselling product, with sales of about USD4.8 billion in the last year, around 27 per cent of their total revenue. It has been on the European market since 2000, when it was approved for those people who weren’t able to get the benefit of the standard type 2 diabetes drug metformin, or for those also taking metformin or insulin .
The research claimed there was “a slight increase in the risk of bladder cancer in patients treated with pioglitazone,” according to AFSSAPS. However, the risk is slight and people on Actos should keep taking their medication . Speak with your healthcare team if you have concerns.

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