France suspends Takeda's Actos on cancer data

Cancer-risk worries about Takeda Pharmaceuticals' Actos drug have resurfaced. French authorities ordered doctors to stop prescribing Actos and another diabetes med made by the company, Competact, citing data suggesting that they may raise the risk of bladder cancer.

The order comes in the wake of a French study of public insurance data, which "confirms a slight increase in the risk of bladder cancer in patients treated with pioglitazone," the agency said in a statement (as quoted by Bloomberg). That study adds to previous indications of a possible link between longtime use of Actos and increased risk of cancer.

The FDA has also been reviewing the drug's safety: Last September, the agency said it was sifting data from an ongoing follow-up study designed specifically to evaluate whether Actos is linked to an increase in cancer risk. Likewise, European regulators said in March that they had launched a formal probe of the possible association, after they saw an increase in reports from the field.

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