Actos: A Drug by Any Other Name Still Smells, Says Consumer Reports

Florida Actos LawsuitAlthough the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved generic versions of the type-2 diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone), Consumer Reports is saying that the generics are one “bargain” you should skip altogether. In fact, the publication suggests that avoiding both the name brand and the generics is probably your best bet.

Some studies have linked Actos to serious side affects that include an increased risk of heart failure, bladder cancer, and bone fractures. Consumer Reports suggests that using other medications to treat diabetes is a desirable alternative to using Actos or its generics.

A current prescription for Actos averages about $377. Since only two manufacturers so far have been tagged to produce the generic (a third manufacturer is suing the FDA after the agency denied approval of its version of the generic), the price will probably remain high until more manufacturers are approved to produce the drug.

Consumer Reports consulted with its medical advisers and their advice was this: people with diabetes should use pioglitazone – brand-name Actos or generic formulations – only as a last resort. If you are currently using this dangerous drug, the publication suggests that you ask your doctor if it’s absolutely necessary and if you should switch to another drug.

Others are questioning why the FDA would even approve production of generic versions of a drug that has such a troubled track record. In June of 2011, the agency itself issued an alert saying that Actos may lead to an increased risk of bladder cancer if used for more than a year.

If you’ve suffered serious side effects or bladder cancer from taking Actos or any other pharmaceutical product, a Florida Actos injury attorney at Farah & Farah can review your case and discuss your legal options. Call us (800) 533-3555 for a complimentary consultation and to learn more about how we can help.