Actos Bladder Cancer
Early on, Actos was considered to be a terrific medication to help patients suffering with type 2 diabetes because it controlled blood-sugar levels. It quickly became a best-selling medication.
More than a decade later, research shows that Actos-associated bladder cancer is on the rise. A federal jury recently awarded $9 billion to an Actos patient who developed bladder cancer. The jury decided that the drug’s manufacturer concealed the cancer risks.
Studies show that patients who take the drug for longer than a year have a 40 percent higher chance of developing bladder cancer. Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the company that makes Actos, knew about the connection in early 2000 but didn’t reveal it until 2011.
Bladder Cancer Symptoms
The first bladder cancer signs are blood in the patient’s urine and lower back pain. Since these are also common symptoms of a urinary-tract infection (UTI), many patients ignore them because the symptoms don’t seem severe. Often, the more severe symptoms -- such as unexplained weight loss, kidney pain and frequent urination -- will cause patients to go to the doctor. The best way to fight bladder cancer is to catch it in the early stage and treat it aggressively.
Bladder Cancer Treatment Options
For most cases of bladder cancer there are several common treatment options that allow patients to continue normal and active lives. The level of treatment depends on how deeply the cancerous tumors have penetrated the bladder walls. Like other types of cancer, bladder cancer is staged, or graded. Stages 0 and 1 are noninvasive and stages II, III and IV are invasive.
Treatment for Stages 0 and 1
- Surgery, Radiation and Chemotherapy.
- The surgical option usually involves burning away destructive cells (called a Transurethral Resection or TURBT) or removing a portion of the bladder (called a Segmental cystectomy).
Treatment for Stages II, III and IV
- Surgery, Radiation, Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy and Clinical Trials.
- The surgical options involve removing the entire bladder (called a Radical Cystectomy) and replacing it with a new urinary diversion system.
Because bladder cancer is known to reoccur, patients must continually see a cancer specialist, known as an oncologist.
Bladder Cancer Litigation
Thousands of injured patients have filed suit against Takeda and its marketing partner Eli Lilly & Co. Even though a judge is expected to reduce the $9 billion award on appeal, patients see the penalty as a way to punish the pharmaceutical companies and show them that negligent practices will not be tolerated. Other cases are awaiting trial.
Many are anticipating that Takeda will begin settlement talks with the remainder of the plaintiffs. Actos patients need funds to pay for medical bills to treat bladder cancer and compensation for lost wages. Injured Actos patients who have not yet hired an attorney to assist them in filing a claim should do so at once as each state has statutes which limit the length of time an injured party has to make a claim. Even if you are not sure if you have a claim ask us for a free, no obligation legal consultation today to be sure that you or your loved one do not lose your rights to recover.
Mayo Clinic. Bladder Cancer. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bladder-cancer/DS00177
National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. What You Need To Know About Bladder Cancer. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/bladder/page1/AllPages