January 11, 2012 - All legal claims filed in California state court involving former Actos users who subsequently developed bladder cancer are now set to be consolidated and coordinated during pretrial proceedings.
The California Judicial Counsel named Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carl J. West as the Coordination Motion Judge for pretrial procedures in all Actos bladder cancer lawsuits. The complaints are likely to be heard in Los Angeles, and a trial judge will be appointed from the Complex Litigation Panel of the LA Superior Court.
Last month, the Actos bladder cancer litigation pending in the federal court system was similarly consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
Pharmaceutical giant Takeda has stated that it intends to file a motion to transfer all California state claims involving Actos into the federal MDL. However, attorneys representing plaintiffs on the state level have argued that there is good reason for keeping the lawsuits in state court, as Takeda owns a large facility in San Diego.
First approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999, Actos (pioglitazone) is a once-a-day Type 2 Diabetes pill that is designed to increase the body’s receptiveness to insulin. Takeda’s blockbuster drug has enjoyed massive success in recent years, generating nearly $4.5 billion in sales last year alone.
Federal health regulators began investigating the potential link between Actos and bladder cancer in September 2010, after interim results from an ongoing decade-long study found that users may face an increased risk of the disease the longer they use the medication. Actos has been pulled off shelves in both France and Germany, and the drug’s warning label has been updated here at home in the United States and across the rest of the European Union.
All of the complaints against Actos involve similar allegations that Takeda knew about the potential risks involved with using their drug, yet the company failed to provide adequate warnings to the public and medical communities.