Several law firms across the country have issued press releases across the Internet with the news many bladder cancer victims have been waiting for. The first trial involving Takeda Pharmaceuticals and their allegedly-defective diabetic drug, Actos, will commence on 19 February, 2013.
The case involves one Jack Cooper and other parties, and will be overseen by the Honorable Judge Kenneth R. Freeman.
Earlier this year, two studies – one published in the British Medical Journal and another in the Canadian Medical Associaton Journal – indicate a significantly increased risk of bladder cancer in patients who have taken the drug for two years or longer.
According to Dr. Jeffery Johnson, one of the contributors of the Canadian study, one reason for the connection between Actos and bladder cancer may have to do with the formation of crystals. This leads to chronic irritation, that in turn can cause the formation of tumors.
The question that will be coming up during the upcoming trial is this: did Takeda executives know – or should they have known – of this possible complication? One former Takeda employee lost her job because she went public with such information – and despite her courage, had her case thrown out.
Judge Freeman has gotten mixed reviews from the litigation community; some consider him to be an excellent jurist, while others find him a disappointment. One L.A. attorney, posting on a forum in 2004, described him as a “run of the mill conservative oriented guy.” How he will lean in this case is anyone's guess.
Azoulay, Laurent et. al. “The Use of Pioglitazone and the Risk of Bladder Cancer in People With Type 2 Diabetes: Nested Case-Control Study.” British Medical Journal, 31 May 2012.
Colmers, Isabelle, et. al. Use of Thiazolidinediones and the Risk of Bladder Cancer Among People With Type 2 Dabetes: a Meta-Analysis.” Canadian Medical Association Journal, 3 July 2012.
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