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Actos Lawsuit

Several studies, including clinical trials on rats prior to the drug’s approval and release, have linked Actos use to an increased risk of bladder cancer. As of May 2013, Takeda is facing at least 3,000 lawsuits related to the drug, a number that could climb to more than 10,000 by some estimates.

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Actos is a diabetes medication designed to regulate blood sugar levels, produced by Japanese pharmaceutical giant Takeda, and marketed in the U.S. by Eli Lilly from 1999-2006. In the fiscal year ending in March 2011, Actos sales accounted for more than a quarter of Takeda’s revenue, nearly $5 billion.

In addition to the increased risk of bladder cancer, the drug can cause congestive heart failure (for which it carries an FDA black box warning) and liver damage. Other potential side effects include bone fractures in women, edema, anemia, and weight gain.

Lawsuit Allegations and Actos Compensation

The lawsuits allege that Takeda was aware of the risks of taking Actos but misled regulators and failed to warn consumers. Most of the lawsuits are related to bladder cancer. Some plaintiffs also allege heart failure or stroke.

Plaintiffs in Actos lawsuits may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings (past and future), pain and suffering, loss of consortium (loss or degradation of family relationships, e.g. spousal relationships), and emotional distress, as well as punitive damages.

More lawsuits continue to be filed, including four in Illinois in November 2013. The plaintiffs, who all developed bladder cancer after taking Actos for more than a year, are seeking approximately $2 million each in damages and legal fees.

Bladder Cancer Lawsuits

Many of the current lawsuits have been consolidated into ongoing multidistrict suits in Louisiana and California.

In October 2013, a Maryland jury ruled that Takeda was negligent in its failure to warn of the link between Actos and bladder cancer. The $1.75 million dollar damages to the plaintiff’s family were not awarded, however, because the jury ruled that that plaintiff Diep An’s smoking contributed to his death, which constitutes contributory negligence under Maryland law and prevents payment. Nonetheless, the ruling is significant to future lawsuits due to its assignation of fault to Takeda.

More lawsuits continue to be filed, including four in Illinois in November 2013. The plaintiffs, who all developed bladder cancer after taking Actos for more than a year, are seeking approximately $2 million each in damages and legal fees.

Louisiana Jury Hands Down $9 Billion Actos Verdict

A Louisiana jury has awarded $9 billion in punitive damages to a man who developed bladder cancer after taking the popular diabetes drug Actos, according to the law firm representing him, Weitz and Luxenberg. The jury of 8 ordered Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the drug’s Japanese manufacturer, to pay $6 billion to the plaintiff, Terrance Allen. Eli Lilly, which marketed Actos in the United States, will pay $3 billion. Allen, a New York resident, was awarded an additional $1.475 million in compensatory damages.

Allen had been using Actos for more than four years to help regulate his blood sugar when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011. He and his wife, Susan, alleged in their suit that Takeda and Lilly continued manufacturing Actos even after discovering its connection to bladder cancer. The companies then allegedly failed to properly warn the medical community and the public of the drug’s dangers.

Juries have found in favor of the plaintiffs in two prior Actos lawsuits, but those verdicts were thrown out for various reasons. Allen’s suit (Allen et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., # 6:12-cv-00064) was the first lawsuit filed in multidistrict litigation in Louisiana. Other cases are pending in Louisiana and in courts around the country. The total number of suits could potentially exceed 10,000.