Takeda Claims Patient’s Smoking Led to Bladder Cancer, Not Actos Prescription
The latest bellwether trial against Takeda Pharmaceuticals for injuries related to their Type 2 diabetes medication, Actos, began recently, and on Monday, September 29th, the pharmaceutical company claimed that the plaintiff’s bladder cancer was not caused by her Actos prescription, but by her age and history of smoking.
Plaintiff Frances Wisniewski filed a personal injury lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals in 2012 in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. In August 2011, Wisniewski was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and she believes that the cancer was caused by her Actos prescription, which she had taken for 7 years. She began taking Actos in 2004, and around 2 years later, her doctors found a tumor in her bladder, which they surgically removed. A second tumor was discovered in 2008. She stopped taking the drug in November 2011.
Some studies have found a link between Actos and bladder cancer, which increases after a patient takes the Type 2 diabetes medication for 2 years.
“In reviewing Mrs. Wisniewski’s record, what I came to learn was that she has a number of risk factors which would completely explain the experience she’s had clinically,” Mark Schoenberg, a urologic oncologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University, said in his testimony. “She’s a smoker with a long history of tobacco abuse, she’s older, and she has the additional features of excess weight and a history of diabetes. There a number of factors that exist independently of any presence of Actos that completely explain her situation.”
Schoenberg added that portions of the original second tumor could have remained in Wisniewski’s bladder and led to the spread of bladder cancer, which may have had nothing to do with Actos.
Meanwhile, Takeda and its US distributor Eli Lilly must, in the Actos multidistrict litigation, pay an award of $9 billion to plaintiff Terrance Allen. The companies appealed the verdict, but Judge Rebecca Doherty refused to overturn her decision. The payment for damages is one of the largest against a pharmaceutical company in US history – Takeda must pay $6 billion, while Lilly will pay $3 billion.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases, Including Against Actos
There are several side effects associated with Actos®. You should seek medical attention if you experience:
- shortness of breath or trouble breathing,
- chest pain,
- extreme fatigue,
- irregular heartbeat,
- dilated neck veins,
- swelling of face, fingers, feet, or lower legs,
- decreased urine output, and
- weight gain
The worst side-effect, which has led to the numerous personal injury lawsuits, is bladder cancer. Although Type 2 diabetes patients have a small increased risk of developing bladder cancer, Actos has been linked to a much greater increase in risk, especially when the prescription is taken for 2 years or more.
If you or a loved one have taken Actos to treat Type 2 diabetes, and have since suffered dangerous side effects including developing bladder cancer you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help with personal injury cases, including against Actos manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800