According to a study published in the April 2011 scientific journal Diabetes Care of the American Diabetes Association, the use of the diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) is linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer.
The study, entitled Assessing the Association of Pioglitazone Use and Bladder Cancer Through Drug Adverse Event Reporting, examined all bladder cancer reports in patients taking anti-diabetic drugs from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System between 2004 and 2009. The study found a significantly increased risk for bladder cancer in those taking Actos (pioglitazone). Other anti-diabetic drugs, were not associated with this increased risk, according to the study.
Between 2004 and 2009, there were more than 500,000 adverse events reported with patients on anti-diabetic drugs. Of those 500,000, there were 138 patients on one of more than 15 different diabetes medications whose physicians reported a diagnosis of bladder cancer. More than 20% of all these cases occurred in patients on Actos (pioglitazone), which suggests a highly disproportionate risk compared to the other 15+ diabetes drugs monitored.
The possible link between bladder cancer and Actos has been discussed before, with a long-term studies conducted by the drug’s manufacturer that found an increased risk of bladder cancer in patients who took the drug for long periods of time. Based on this data, the FDA began an investigation to determine if there is an actual increased risk of bladder cancer last year. The FDA’s study has not yet completed.
Until the FDA’s study is complete, the FDA has told patients to not stop taking the diabetes medication unless advised to stop by their doctors.
The Diabetes Care study, which can be accessed by clicking here, concluded that more surveillance is required and an urgent specific study related to this issue should be conducted.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with bladder cancer and you were on the diabetes medication Actos, contact the experienced pharmaceutical litigation attorneys at Fodera & Long for free consultation today.