Europe Issues Warnings over Actos Cancer Risk

The European Medicine Agency has supported the continued use of Takeda’s diabetes medication Actos, but has opted to increase warnings regarding bladder cancer risk. The move comes after both France and Germany suspended the use of the medication after new data came to light, indicating an increased risk of bladder cancer in patients using medications containing pioglitazone.  The European Medicine Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has ruled that medicines containing pioglitazone remain a valid treatment option for sufferers of type 2 diabetes, but added that the risk of bladder cancer could be reduced by appropriate patient selection and exclusion.

Prescribers are now advised not to use such medications with patients currently suffering from or with a history of bladder cancer, or in patients suffering from uninvestigated macroscopic haematuria.  Other conditions include the age of the patient, and a treatment review after three to six months of use.