Watson Pharmaceuticals won a decision against the United States Food and Drug Administration for its right to sell the generic version of the drug Actos (pioglitazone)
. This follows an August decision by the FDA which approved generic versions of the type 2 diabetes drug. Watson follows the path of Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Ranbaxy Laboratories and Teva Pharmaceuticals as the other manufacturers selling generic forms of Actos.
Actos was initially introduced in 1999 by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and was initially hailed as powerful drug against type 2 diabetes. However, soon after its inception, individuals taking the drug began experiencing harmful side effects including bone fractures, heart complications and other severe damages.
Most detrimental however, are the mounting studies that suggest that Actos, and other medications containing pioglitazone increases the risk of bladder cancer
by up to 80 percent. This following a 2007 decision by the FDA to include a “black box” warning on all boxes of Actos that indicate the drug increases the risk of congestive heart failure by as much 30 percent. In fact, experts predict that lawsuits relating to bladder cancer and the use of Actos may reach as much as 10,000 in the next few years.
In 2011, Actos had sales of $3.4 billion in the United States alone, a number that is sure to decline with the introduction of new generic pills on to the market.