Family of Deceased Files Actos Wrongful Death Lawsuit against Takeda
The spouse of a Tennessee man who used the blood sugar medication Actos has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Western Tennessee against the drug’s manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and Eli Lilly, the U.S. company that marketed the drug from 1999 to 2006. The Actos wrongful death lawsuit filed by the estate of Bobby Wayne Ross is one of more than 3,000 similar lawsuits alleging that the drug can cause bladder cancer. The lawsuit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for Mr. Ross’ pain and suffering, loss of wages, medical expenses and wrongful death. Similar cases have produced judgments as high $6.5 million.
Link between Actos and bladder cancer
Originally marketed to type 2 diabetes patients as a medication to control blood sugar levels, Actos has since been linked to a variety of serious side effects, including broken bones, edema, liver damage, or diabetic eye disease (macular edema).
Among the most serious side effects that can result from Actos use is heart failure or bladder cancer. In 2007, a report published in the medical journal Lancet found that patients on this drug experienced a higher number of serious heart failure events. In some cases, the risk for a cardiac event rose as high as 72 percent. This prompted the FDA to require its most serious warning for Actos users, the black box warning.
In 2011, several European countries banned the drug following reports it could cause bladder cancer. A study conducted by the FDA in the U.S. found that of 193,000 diabetic patients on Actos, those who were on the drug for more than a year had a 40 percent greater chance of developing bladder cancer. This strong link between Actos and bladder cancer prompted the FDA to warn diabetic patients that Actos has been linked to these serious and fatal ailments.
Legal cases against Actos’ manufacturer
The spouse of Bobby Wayne Ross has filed an Actos wrongful death lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals for a defective product, failure to warn, negligence, misrepresentation, breach of warranty, and violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.
This lawsuit stems from Mr. Ross’ use of Actos within the past ten years. Mr. Ross was prescribed Actos as a treatment for his Type 2 diabetes. Mr. Ross died in May 2012 from a large right cortical infarction which was caused by hypertension and edema, allegedly from using Actos. The lawsuit contends that the Mr. Ross would not have taken Actos had he known the serious risks involved.
Thousands of other Actos users and their families have brought lawsuits similar to the Actos wrongful death lawsuit filed by the estate of Bobby Wayne Ross. Due to the enormous number of lawsuits being filed, many of these legal actions have been consolidated into Multi-District Litigation, or MDL. Although similar to class action lawsuits, MDL does not usurp the rights of individual plaintiffs to have their day in court. Federal Actos lawsuits against Takeda Pharmaceuticals are being litigated in the U.S. District Court of Western Louisiana.
- Medpagetoday.com, FDA Warns of Bladder Cancer Risk With Actos, http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/Diabetes/27091
- FDA.gov, MEDICATION GUIDE ACTOS®, http://www.fda.gov/downloads/drugs/drugsafety/ucm183833.pdf
- Reuters.com, Actos, Avandia heart failure risks confirmed-study, http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/09/27/idUSN27340425