Diabetes Drug Cancer Link Confirmed

| April 19, 2016

I have written before on Real Diabetes Truth about the dangers of the diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone). It has been suspected for over a decade of causing bladder cancer. Now, a new study confirms those suspicions, finding Actos use linked with an overall 63 per cent increase in bladder cancer risk. The higher the dosage, and the longer you take it, the greater becomes the risk, suggesting that Actos isn’t just associated with bladder cancer but is actually causing it.

The link between Actos and bladder cancer was first suggested in 2005. Other studies (some of which were funded by Big Pharma) gave mixed results, but four years ago, a large data analysis by Canadian researchers revealed up to 88 per cent increase in bladder cancer risk among Actos users, as I wrote here.  Those findings prompted me to say at the time, “The latest study takes the ‘maybe’ out of it.  The usual bleat that ‘more research is needed’ won’t wash this time.”

But I should have known that Actos’s manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, wouldn’t take the results of these studies lying down. In fact, they did everything they could to hide the truth and keep their profits from this deadly drug flowing in. As I later wrote here, Takeda deliberately destroyed evidence that they knew Actos raised bladder cancer risks, ahead of a high profile court case that could have cost them millions of dollars in damages.

Of the 145,806 diabetes patients whose records were examined in the new study, 622 developed bladder cancer. And the researchers found 63 per cent of those cases were directly attributable to Actos. On average, around half of the people who get this form of cancer die from it. So that’s around 200 Actos-related deaths in this study alone. Worldwide, the death toll must run to several thousands.

That Actos raises the risk of bladder cancer is bad enough, but it isn’t the end of the story. It also puts you at risk of potentially fatal heart failure, bone fractures, kidney disease and macular oedema (fluid retention in the eye that can lead to vision loss), along with a welter of other unpleasant side effects, as I shall explain in my next blog post.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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  1. Tuccori M, Filion KB, Yin H, Oriana HY, Platt RW, Azoulay L. Pioglitazone use and risk of bladder cancer: population based cohort study. BMJ. 2016; 352:i1541. 
  1. Dormandy JA, Charbonnel B, Eckland DJ, et al. PROactive Investigators. Secondary prevention of macrovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes in the PROactive Study (PROspective pioglitAzone Clinical Trial In macroVascular Events): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2005; 366:1279-1289.
  1. Azoulay L, Yin H, Filion KB, Assayag J, Majdan A, Pollak MN, Suissa S. The use of pioglitazone and the risk of bladder cancer in people with type 2 diabetes: nested case-control study. BMJ. 2012; 344:e3645.
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Category: Diabetes Drugs

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