I believe it’s time for an online campaign, including social media, to educate the public and push for a recall of the diabetes drugÂ ActosÂ®.
Actos was recalled in France and Germany in 2011 because of the risks of bladder cancer and congestive heart failure. The FDA, instead of recalling Actos, merely issued a warning.
Now two studies in June and July 2012 have confirmed the risk of bladder cancer, and another study in June 2012 shows that Actos increases the risk of macular edema, which causes blurred vision.
The Actos situation today reminds me of the Rezulin debacle in 2000. Rezulin, a diabetes drug with huge sales, was causing liver failure in some patients taking the drug.
At the time, Dr. Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group had called on the FDA to recall Rezulin, but the FDA was slow to act., The drug company was denying the problems and fighting all recall efforts. Meanwhile, some patients taking Rezulin died and others had liver transplants.
I joined with a group of law firms to create what we called “The Rezulin Legal Alliance.” We put up two websites laying out the case for recalling Rezulin. And we offered to represent patients with liver damage due to the drug.
Eventually, Rezulin was recalled, and the Rezulin Legal Alliance law firms represented over 1,000 Rezulin victims with liver damage in successful litigation against the maker of the drug.
TheÂ Actos situation today reminds me very much of the Rezulin debacle. The maker of Actos is ignoring the problem, and the FDA has been slow to act.Â As in the case of Rezulin, we know the opinion of consumer advocate Dr. Sidney Wolfe. Actos has long been on his list of pills to avoid because he says there are safer alternatives available, such asÂ metformin (Glucophage) andÂ glipizide (Glucotrol).
The evidence against Actos keeps accumulating, yet the drug maker and the FDA have not recalled Actos. People who are concerned about the issue need to call on them to recall Actos.
Patients taking Actos should not stop taking it before consulting with their physician. Before meeting with your doctor, you may want to research the issue of the safety of Actos. I’ve posted links to some of the relevant articles below.
- July 3, 2012 -Â Another Study Links Diabetes Drug Actos to Bladder Cancer
- June 11, 2012 -Â Actos May Raise Risk of Macular Edema
- June 1, 2012 -Â Study: Diabetes drug Actos doubles the risk of bladder cancer
- June 15, 2011 – FDA Safety Announcement Immediately After French and German Actos Recalls
ActosÂ® is one of the trade names under which the drug pioglitazone is marketed. ACTOS, ACTOplus met, ACTOplus met XR, and Duetact are trademarks of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and used under license by Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.