Study Clarifies Risk of Actos Bladder Cancer


Researchers from Canada have concluded that taking Actos (pioglitazone) for more than two years doubles a person’s risk of developing bladder cancer.  Despite this statistic, the actual risk of developing Actos bladder cancer is still low.

The study, published online by the British Medical Journal, was conducted in Canada by researchers who analyzed medical records of more than 115,000 patients in the U.K. who were treated with diabetes drugs between 1988 and 2009.

The researchers found that when patients used Actos for more than two years, 88 extra cases of bladder cancer per 100,000 person years occurred.  When patients took more than 28,000 mg of the drug, this rose to 137 extra cases.

Last year, concerns about the prevalence of bladder cancer diagnoses amongst Actos patients became very public when regulatory agencies in the U.S. and in Europe released warnings about this risk.

In an editorial that accompanies the study, Dominique Hillaire-Buys and Jean-Luc Faillie from the Department of Medical Pharmacology and Toxicology in Montpellier, France opined that this recent research would add more weight to questions about the risk of Actos bladder cancer.

According to these researchers, "Prescribers who are ultimately responsible for therapeutic choices can legitimately question whether the benefit-risk ratio of pioglitazone is still acceptable for their patients with diabetes."

In the year ending in March 2012, Actos reached peak sales of nearly $5 billion.  With the advent of generic alternatives and much discussion of Actos side effect risks, sales have sharply declined for the drug, made by Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

Contact an Actos Lawyer

A number of diabetes patients in the United States have filed pharmaceutical product liability lawsuits against Takeda Pharmaceuticals after developing bladder cancer while taking Actos.  If you suffer from bladder cancer or another Actos side effect, you may have the right to compensation for medical bills and other damages.  Contact a dangerous drug lawyer today to learn more in a free legal consultation.


June 8, 2012 | Tags: Actos, Dangerous Drugs

View All Legal News