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The first Actos bladder cancer trial is currently underway in Los Angeles, California state court and the trial started February 19th. The plaintiff, Jack Cooper, was diagnosed with bladder cancer after using Actos for more than two years. The case was given a fast track trial date because of Cooper’s terminal condition.

Federal MDL Trial Schedule

The U.S. District court overseeing the federal Actos litigation has set the first bellwether trial in the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) to begin in 2014. U.S. District Judge Doherty has ordered a bell wether trial preparation schedule with the first beginning on January 27, 2014 and a second beginning on April 14, 2014.

3,000 Actos Injury and Bladder Cancer Lawsuits

More than 3,000 complaints have been filed by patients who have used Actos, and all lawsuits brought in the federal court system are being coordinated during pretrial proceedings before Judge Doherty in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. According to medical experts, the number of Actos patients suffering from bladder cancer is expected to increase significantly in the next few years, leading to more lawsuits.

Actos History and FDA Warnings

Pioglitazone is a prescription drug sold as “Actos” in the United States. Actos is used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus Type 2 . Actos works by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels.

Recent studies from the FDA and other medical sources have shown severe negative side effects from taking Actos.

  • A 2005 Proactive study demonstrated a higher percentage of bladder cancer cases in patients receiving Actos.
  • In 2007, the FDA requested that Actos boxes be given a black box label, the strongest FDA-requested label change, due to the risk of serious cardiovascular events caused by the drug.
  • A study was released on August 24, 2010 showing that the drug was just as dangerous as Avandia in terms of increasing risks of cardiovascular events.
  • On June 16, 2011, the FDA required a label change for Actos because the drug, in users using for more than a year, causes a 40% increase in the risk for bladder cancer.
  • France and Germany have banned the use of Actos, an action which affected the FDA’s June 2011 action of requiring a label change.

Actos Bladder Cancer Allegations

All of the complaints allege that Actos increases the risk of bladder cancer when it is used over a long period of time. Furthermore, the lawsuits claim that Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the drug’s manufacturer, failed to provide adequate warnings to patients or the doctors and ignored information about the link between bladder cancer and Actos before the medication was even introduced. In addition to the federal Actos lawsuits, a number of cases are pending in various state courts throughout the country.

What is a Bell Wether Trial?

Actos bellwether trials serve as test cases to allow the parties to assess how juries are likely to respond to the trial evidence. Complex pharmaceutical litigation typically involve thousands of injury claims to the same medication, and the outcome of these early trial dates can help resolve the litigation and may result in a global settlement agreement.

All discovery in the cases is to be completed by October 1, 2013, with a pretrial conference scheduled for January 13, 2014 and the first trial set to begin on January 27th.

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