Two new reports filed by the American College of Physicians and Consumer Reports have found that taking an alternative to the diabetes drug Actos has significant advantages for type II diabetes patients. The physicians found that diabetes medication metformin—which has existed for nearly two decades—is both cheaper and safer than Actos.
Actos has come under scrutiny after studies linked the diabetes drug to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Researchers found that patients who used Actos for more than one year faced a 40% increased risk of developing bladder cancer—prompting the U.S. and Canada to issue warnings about the side effects of Actos. Health officials in Germany and France halted sales of the drug in those countries due to concerns about the link between Actos and bladder cancer.
Hearings on the first Actos lawsuits filed against the drug’s manufacturer are expected to begin in 2012. Lawyers involved with the cases estimate Takeda Pharmaceuticals could face more than 10,000 lawsuits filed by patients who developed bladder cancer after taking Actos.