Alert: Arizona Actos Patients with Bladder Cancer
Studies reveal an increased rate in bladder cancer among patients treated with the drug Actos for Type 2 Diabetes.
What is Actos?
The largest prescription drug maker in Japan, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, introduced Actos to U.S. consumers in 2000. It has been hugely profitable for the company, earning billions per year. In 2008, the sales of the drug were 2.4 billion.
The active ingredient in Actos, Pioglitazone, is also used in ActoPlus met, ActoPlus met XR and Duetac.
Actos and Bladder Cancer
In 2011 the FDA issued an urgent health warning to users and prescribers. A new study at that time revealed a 40% increase in risk for bladder cancer in Actos patients. These studies further evidenced even higher rates of bladder cancer with higher dosages and longer courses of treatment.
Banned in European Countries but not in U.S.
While Actos has been used by millions worldwide and is still prescribed in U.S., as of June 2011 the medication was banned in France and Germany.
The FDA now requires that recent findings and risks be included in warnings attached to the drug packaging and future marketing materials. The FDA says it will continue to monitor the data being released by various ongoing studies into the long-term health effects of Actos. In the meantime, Actos remains available to consumers in the United States despite these newly found risks.