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Study Confirms Actos, Other Thiazolidinediones Increase Bladder Cancer Risk

A new study confirms that Actos and other thiazolidinediones drugs do, in fact, increase the risk for developing bladder cancer. The study appears online this month in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that patients taking Actos and other thiazolidinedione (TZDs) drugs suffer a two-to-three-fold increased likelihood of developing bladder cancer when compared to people who took a sulfonylurea drug, said Science Daily. TZDs comprise some 20 percent of medications prescribed to diabetics in the United States; sulfonylurias are another popular diabetes drug class that include Glucotrol (glipizide). (more…)

Whistleblower Lawsuit Claims Actos Health Risks Hidden

A whistleblower lawsuit is pointing to more potential Actos safety problems, alleging that the drug’s maker hid the seriousness of congestive heart failure cases associated witht he drug. Actos (pioglitazone) is prescribed for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and is manufactured by a U.S. unit of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.

According to whistleblower, Helen Ge, a former Takeda medical reviewer, Takeda Pharmaceutical allegedly neglected to provide accurate reports to regulators concerning hundreds of congestive heart failure cases linked to Actos, said Bloomberg News. The unfiled reports spanned from late 2007 to January 2010, said Ge, in the complaint filed in federal court in Boston. Drug makers are mandated to update the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS). (more…)

Actos to be Withdrawn in France

French medicine regulators have banned diabetes drug Actos from their market citing study results which link the drug to an increased risk of bladder cancer. The French Health Products Safety Agency (AFSSAPS) announced Takeda’s drugs Actos and Compectact will be withdrawn in the country based on a French study showing an adjusted hazard ratio for bladder cancer among those taking the drug, reported InPharm.com.

The study was conducted by the nation’s insurance company and compared 155,000 patients in France taking pioglitazone, the generic version of Actos, from 2006 to 2009 to 1.3 million diabetics not using the drug. Researchers found a dose effect among those receiving a cumulative dosage of 28,000 mg or more resulting in an increased risk of bladder cancer. (more…)

Study Says Two Diabetes Drug Increase Risk of Eye Disease

Diabetes drugs Actos and Avandia may increase the risk of developing an eye disease that can lead to blindness, reported Bloomberg. A study to be presented Sunday at the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting, reveals that patients taking either drug have a three to six times increased risk of developing diabetic macular edema (DME).

Actos and Avandia are known to increase the risk of fluid in the lungs and swelling in the legs; therefore, the study authors concluded “patients at high risk of sight-threatening DME should avoid” drugs such as Actos and Avandia. Those at high-risk include patients with issues controlling their blood sugar and those with a previous history of macular edema. (more…)

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