The generic version of Actos – pioglitazone – has been approved by the FDA for market in the United States. The FDA’s approval comes despite more and more lawsuits against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, manufacturers of brand-name Actos, which allege that the company either knew or should have known about the harmful side effects of their drug before releasing it to the global market.
Several studies show that pioglitazone is strongly linked to development of bladder cancer, as well as increased risk of heart failure, liver disease, and diabetic macular edema. The lawsuits have, for the most part, focused on patients who developed bladder cancer after taking Actos for two years or more. Avandia, another drug to treat Type 2 diabetes, has been strongly linked to heart disease and failure.
In June 2011, France and Germany both removed pioglitazone from their markets; the FDA, rather than recalling the drug, issued the strongest possible warning against the drug. Despite mounting concerns and calls for recall of the drug in the US, the FDA has approved generic Actos. However, the FDA has also rejected Takeda Pharmaceutical’s application to approve alogliptin, a new drug that uses pioglitazone in its formula.
Meanwhile, researchers are discovering several factors related to developing Type 2 diabetes, which could help ward off the disease, or manage the disease better without the help of dangerous drugs like Actos.
A new Canadian study shows that women with little or no control over their working conditions are more likely to develop diabetes than men, which is consistent with the results of an earlier study conducted in Sweden. The study finds that micromanaging female employees creates stress that can lead to diabetes; however, the study was unclear about why. Suggestions included women’s hormonal makeup, the fact that women generally have less physical jobs than men, and a tendency to eat “comfort foods” that contain more fat and sugar.
Another study from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine finds a link between cooking methods and diabetes. The study looked at “dry” cooking methods, which include grilling, sautéing, frying, versus “wet” cooking methods like boiling and poaching. According to the study, dry cooking methods tend to produce advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs), in which a glucose molecule attaches to a protein in an uncontrolled way, damaging the protein structure and making it harder for the body to process. AGEs then cause inflammation, which can lead to diabetes.
Of course, genetics also plays a factor in diabetes, and a study from the University of Oxford, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and the University of Michigan has found ten more regions in human DNA linked to diabetes. With the addition of these genes, researchers are beginning to find patterns in the types of genes implicated in the disease.
Fortunately, a new method to detect glucose levels has recently been created. Sensors using complex “rose petals” of nanoparticles can detect glucose in tears, saliva, and urine. This method of sensing glucose is less expensive because it is easier to produce and can use a variety of body fluids, which makes it more practical than a blood test. This device could help with early detection of diabetes, which could lead to patients making lifestyle changes to control the disease before they need to take potentially dangerous drugs to control insulin.
Researchers tend to be more concerned with Type 2 diabetes, formerly called “adult diabetes,” because rates of the disease have been on the rise in the past decade. More children are developing Type 2 diabetes as well, because of several environmental factors including poor diet and lack of exercise. While Type 2 diabetes has many causes, research has focused on prevention and control, to stem the “obesity epidemic.”
If you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, it is important to speak to your doctor about methods of controlling you condition before you start taking drugs. While there are effective diabetes drugs on the market, such as metformin, it is important to make changes to your diet and exercise more in concert with prescriptions, rather than relying on prescriptions alone. While drugs can be effective in the short term, drugs like Avandia and Actos have serious long-term consequences.
If you or a loved one have been prescribed Actos to treat your Type 2 diabetes, and have since developed bladder cancer, heart disease, liver failure, or macular edema, after taking the drug for 2 years or more, you may deserve compensation. The Strom Law Firm is accepting cases nationwide against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and can help you get on the road to recovery. We offer free consultations, so please contact us today. 803.252.4800.