Other European countries hold fire on Takeda drug

LONDON Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:43am EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Other European countries are holding fire on Takeda Pharmaceutical's drug Actos, after France and Germany said they were suspending the diabetes drug because of fears over bladder cancer.

A spokeswoman for the European Medicines Agency, whose experts will discuss the drug at a June 20-23 meeting, said on Friday the agency was not aware of any other national authorities taking action over the drug.

The European agency, based in London, initiated a review in March into the safety of Actos, which is Takeda's top seller, with global sales of $4.8 billion in the last financial year.

Britain's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said in a statement that while the European review was going on it was not recommending any changes to the use of drugs containing pioglitazone, the active ingredient in Actos.

The Danish Medicines Agency also told Reuters it was following the situation closely but had no plans to "go it alone" on suspending the drug.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Additional reporting by Mette Fraende in Copenhagen; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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