Sales of Diabetes Drugs Stopped Due to Bladder Cancer Risks

Actos and Competact pulled off market in France and Germany

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Actos and Competact, two top-selling type 2 diabetes drugs, have been pulled off the markets in France and Germany following studies linking the medications to bladder cancer.

The French Medicines Agency halted sales of the drugs after a study by French public health insurance office found that the active ingredient in Actos - pioglitazone - increases the risk of cancer. Competact is a combination of Actos and metformin.

"Talk to you doctor about the safety of Actos and Competact."

The French authority told doctors to stop prescribing the medication but said patients should continue taking the drugs until they talk with their doctors.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been conducting a study on Actos since September 2010.

An interim report of an ongoing 10-year Kaiser Permanente trial involving 193,099 patients, has found an increase in bladder cancer in patients taking pioglitazone therapy for two years or more. That report was published in Diabetes Care earlier this year.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), the FDA and Japanese drug regulators are still reviewing data and have not ordered doctors to stop prescribing the medications.

Actos is manufactured by Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical and had sales of $4.8 billion in the year to March 31.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 10, 2011
Last Updated:
June 10, 2011