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Emily Welker, Published May 09 2013

Two North Dakota men sue over diabetes drug

FARGO – Two North Dakota men with bladder cancer are suing a Japanese drug manufacturer in Fargo federal court because they say the company failed to warn them that bladder cancer was a risk in taking Actos, its diabetes drug.

Teddy Beach, Fargo, and Dale Mumm, Wahpeton, allege in their lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court that Takeda Pharmaceuticals conducted studies, including animal evidence, that showed bladder cancer was a risk with Actos before the drug was put on the market in 1999.

Court documents state that Beach took the drug from February 2007 to January 2009, and Mumm took it from June 2002 to August 2008.

Their attorney, Todd Miller, said Actos, or pioglitazone hydrochloride, is a treatment for Type 2 diabetes and is the most prescribed medication for that type of diabetes, with $3.4 billion in sales in 2009.

The lawsuit stated the European Medicine Agency suspended the use of Actos in June 2011 after a French agency found it increased the risk of bladder cancer. Germany’s federal drug agency also suspended its use, the lawsuit stated.

Beach and Mumm are seeking more than $75,000 in damages from the company.

A response to the complaint from Takeda has not yet been filed.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541