Takeda, which makes Actos (pioglitazone), the world’s best-selling type 2 diabetes pill, is facing lawsuits throughout the United States and a decline in sales as suspicions mount that taking the drug for longer than a year increases a patient’s risk for developing bladder cancer, according to AOL Healthy Living.

In June 2011, the drug company, based in Japan, stopped selling Actos, in Germany and France after pressure from regulators. Since then, though sales have been allowed to continue, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency issued warnings on the cancer risk. Physicians have been advised told not to prescribe Actos.

Actos does help control blood glucose and improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin, but its risks now appear to outweigh its benefits. The medication’s sales increased from about $2.9 billion in 2006 to more than $4.3 billion in 2010.

In one lawsuit, a 54-year-old woman sued Takeda alleging she was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2009 as a result of using Actos for more than a decade. She had two surgeries to remove tumors, and worried about missing work and being unable to pay medical bills.

Contact Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan if you or a loved one suffers injuries from dangerous drugs. When a manufacturer distributes a drug, it owes the public a duty of safety for its use. The firm holds drug manufacturers accountable for drugs’ adverse effects.