Following the recent decision by health regulators in France to halt sales of the diabetes drug Actos due to a suspected cancer risk, Germany has now also decided to take follow suit and suspend its use.
The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) in Germany said Actos, also known as pioglitazone, was being suspended because of the findings of the French study of patients taking Actos between 2006 and 2009. The regulator commented “BfArM recommends the suspension of approval of pioglitazone (Actos) until further clarification. Doctors should not put new patients on pioglitazone.”
France suspended use of Actos, which is made by Takeda Pharmaceutical, and Competact (a combination of Actos and metformin ) last week due to a study involving tests on male rats found that they seemed to slightly heighten the risk of bladder cancer .
The European Medicines Agency has stated that it did not know of any other countries also taking action against the drug, but is due to report review findings at a meeting next week, which UK regulators will wait for before taking a decision on the use of Actos in this country.
The regulators in both French and German recommend that patients who are currently prescribed Actos should carry on taking it until they get a chance to discuss the medication with their GP.

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