Watson Pharmaceuticals is the newest company to be approved to market a generic version of popular diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone), manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceutical Inc., in spite of numerous concerns about Actos side effects such as increased risk of bladder cancer.

A Washington U.S. District Judge overturned a FDA decision that prevented Watson from joining a period of shared exclusivity granted to Mylan Inc. and Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., companies who filed for the right to market generic Actos previously. In August this year, the FDA granted them approval to market pioglitazone in 15 milligram, 30 mg and 45 mg doses.

But some wonders why the FDA approved the generic version of the drug at all given the increasing concerns about Actos side effects, which include increased risk of heart failure, bone fractures, and bladder cancer. Recently, Consumer Reports advised patients to use Actos “only as a last resort.” Medical regulators in France and Germany have even removed the drug from market because of the alarming incidences of Actos bladder cancer.

One study found that patients who took Actos had a 22 percent increased risk of developing bladder cancer, a risk that increased with higher dosages to up to 50 percent.

Both the generic and brand forms of the drug will include a warning label advising patients of its potential to cause or worsen Actos side effects such as:

  • Heart failure
  • Bone fracture
  • Liver disease
  • Bladder cancer

Patients who suffered from Actos side effects or developed bladder cancer should consider filing an Actos lawsuit to seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and other injuries. To learn more, call (877) 779-1414 for a free and confidential case review.

Published October 26, 2012 by