June 8, 2012 – For over a year, researchers have cautioned of study results showing that long-term use of the diabetes drug Actos is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.
In June of 2011, the FDA first told patients of the dangers after a study by the French Medicines Agency found as much as a 40% increased risk of bladder cancer with Actos use. The findings also prompted Germany and France to ban the drug.
Health Canada also recently issued a warning after their independent study found troubling relations between Actos and bladder cancer. The British Medical Journal published a study on May 31, 2012 by researchers at McGill University in Montreal showing the increased bladder cancer risks from long-term Actos use may actually be as high as 83%.
Following warnings last year by the United States and several countries in Europe, the top drug safety agency in Canada announced this month that they were also warning patients about the safety of the diabetes drug Actos.
On April 19, 2012, Health Canada issued a warning that Actos may cause an increased risk of bladder cancer. They also announced that they will require additional warnings to the packaging of the drug to alert patients of the risk.
Health Canada is much like the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. or the European Medicines Agency in Europe. Both agencies warned of the safety of the drug last summer.
Since the FDA announced in June of 2011 that the diabetes drug Actos may be linked to bladder cancer, thousands of patients affected by the disease have come forward to pursue legal action against Takeda Pharmaceuticals over the defective drug.
The FDA warning came after a French study was published finding that long-term use of Actos could heighten the risk of developing bladder cancer by as much as 40%.
Both Germany and France have banned new prescriptions of the drug. Regulators in Canada, the United States and the rest of Europe have issued warnings, but left the drug on the market.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned last year that those who take the medication Actos for their type 2 diabetes may have an increased chance of developing bladder cancer. The advisory came as a shock to hundreds of thousands who believed the drug to be a safer alternative to Avandia.
The U.S agency’s announcement came after a French study found long term use of the medication related to as much as a 40% increase in disease rates. Since then, the EMA and Health Canada have also issued warnings.