Actemra also known as tocilizumab, is a prescription drug that has been proved by the FDA to treat a number of conditions: moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA), giant cell arthritis (GCA) in adults, and polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (PJIA) or systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) in children ages two and older.

Recent litigation involving Actemra shows a link to over 1,128 deaths and counting. Failure to inform the public about the risks of taking this medication gives way to claims of negligence on behalf of the FDA as well as the manufacturer of Actemra, Roche/Genentech.

The listed side effects are upper respiratory tract infections, headache, increased blood pressure, injection site reactions, Hepatitis B infections for those who already carry the virus, death caused by serious allergic reactions, and nervous system problems such as Multiple Sclerosis. However, dangerous side effects such as heart failure, heart attack, stroke, pancreatitis, interstitial lung disease, and even death have been ignored by the manufacturer, endangering the unsuspecting consumers of this medication.

Currently, Actemra remains as the fifth highest manufactured drug by Roche in gross sales. The company’s negligence to earn more of a profit from unsuspecting victims is the groundwork for current litigation.

An article published by STAT reviews the main concerns for Actemra users:

  1. For those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and giant cell arteritis, heart and lung related side effects are “as high or higher for Actemra patients than for patients taking some competing drugs.”
  2. Patients taking Actemra are 50% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than patients taking Enbrel. While Enbrel informs the public that taking this medication may lead to potential heart problems, the manufacture of Actemra remains silent.
  3. Actemra, even in its acute form, can be deadly in 50% of patients taking the medication.


Contact the Law Offices of Rudolph F.X. Migliore, P.C. for a free consultation to find out if you are entitled to compensation from Actemra’s manufacturer, Roche.


By Aleksandra Aronova