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Actos and a Link to Pancreatic Cancer

Despite many studies showing that the diabetes drug Actos is linked to an increased risk of developing bladder cancer, those in the industry are still trying to prove that is not true.  The results of a recent large-scale study are now suggesting there is not a significant risk of bladder cancer for patients who take Actos.

whitepillsFirst, it should be noted that there does appear to be some increase in the number of patients who have taken Actos as compared to diabetics who have not taken Actos.  While researchers like to discuss whether things are significant or statistically significant, to any single patient who develops bladder cancer as a result of taking Actos, we can be fairly certain that it is very significant to that patient.

Aside from this result, the study seems to suggest a strong association between patients who take Actos and those who develop pancreatic cancer. This study involved 200,000 patients who all were diagnosed with diabetes. In addition to this, the study looked at another group of roughly 235,000 patients, and researchers determined there was approximately a 40 percent increase in the risk of getting pancreatic cancer after taking Actos, according to a recent news feature from WebMD.

Drug companies will likely try to downplay this, as they can argue that we are not talking about a large number to begin with, so increasing that small number by 40 percent is not a big deal.  However, as our Actos injury attorneys have seen was the case with bladder cancer, to those who get cancer of any kind after taking Actos, it is very significant to them.  It is also the cause of great deal of pain and suffering and possibly death, and this should never be allowed to happen.

One of the reasons doctors think Actos may be linked to pancreatic cancer is because the drug can lead to inflammation, and inflammation is already a concern in patients who suffer from diabetes.  Inflammation in the pancreas can lead to the development of pancreatic cancer.  However, some are claiming that patients who are given Actos and other related medications are already suffering from advanced and uncontrolled cases of diabetes, so they are already at risk for having increased inflammation, which in turn can lead to an increased risk for developing pancreatic cancer.  In other words, they are saying it may not be the Actos, but that patients who take Actos are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer anyway.

Regardless of this specific cause and effect problem, the fact that drug companies are putting drugs on the market without conducting adequate safety testing is the reason we are having so many problems with defective drugs.  These companies are trying to get their products on the market as quick as possible, so they can maximize sales while the drug is still under patent.  When drugs are in clinical trials, the patent expiration clock is already running, so they don’t want to waste time doing any more safety testing than they can get away with, and this rush to market and to maximize profits can lead to defective drugs and serious injury or death.

If you are the victim of Massachusetts product liability, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Study: Diabetes Drug Not Tied to Bladder Cancer, July 21, 2015, By Robert Preidt, WebMD

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