Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s best selling drug, Actos, has recently been pulled from the French market over concerns that the diabetes drug may increase the risk of developing bladder cancer. France’s drug safety authority issued their announcement on Thursday, officially suspending the use of Actos and ordering doctors to stop prescribing the drug. The authority did say, however, that patients who are currently taking the treatment should not stop doing so without first consulting their physicians.
Actos, which is also known as Pioglitazone, was approved for use in Europe in 2000 and reported sales of 387.9 billion yen (4.8 billion) this past fiscal year. This number accounts for approximately 27 percent of Takeda’s revenue.
The European Medicines Agency began its review of Actos and its potential cancer risk in March and said that it too will examine the findings of the French study. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also been monitoring Actos due to concerns that the drug may increase the risk of bladder cancer, but the agency has not yet issued any safety announcements regarding use of the drug.