A Louisiana jury handed down one of the largest punitive damages awards in an Actos lawsuit that links the diabetes drug to cancer.
A federal jury in Louisiana awarded a combined $9 billion punitive damage verdict against Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co., over their prescribed diabetes drug, Actos, which has been linked to cancer.
The jury in this Actos case agreed with the plaintiffs that the drug makers did not disclose the cancer risk associated with taking this drug and told Takeda to pay $6 billion and Lilly to pay $3 billion. The lawsuit against Takeda and Lilly was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, where more than 2,700 Actos lawsuits have been consolidated and await pretrial hearings. All of the claims alleged one or more serious side effect such as bladder cancer, liver problems and even heart failure.
A New York couple sued Takeda and Lilly in 2011, the same year the husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos since 2006, according to an April 8, 2014 article in The New York Times.
According to The New York Times, the jury discovered that Takeda knew in the early 2000s that there was a link between Actos and bladder cancer but did not disclose this to doctors and patients. Court documents show Actos made $16 billion in sales in the United States since 1999, when the drug first became available, according to the article.
It has been reported that Takeda destroyed its development, marketing and sales documents from Actos, which prompted the judge the tell jurors that they could conclude that the records may have supported the plaintiff’s claims that the company failed to disclose the risks of taking the medication.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Actos, also known as pioglitazone, is a prescription drug used to treat type II diabetes mellitus or diabetes. In a public safety announcement on June 15, 2011, the FDA acknowledged that users who took the drug for more than one year increased their risk of bladder cancer. In a medication guide, the FDA warns of serious side effects such as bladder cancer, low blood sugar, diabetic eye disease, broken bones, liver problems and new or worsening heart failure.
In the original Actos trial, the Louisiana jury awarded nearly $1.5 million in compensatory damages to the plaintiff who sued Takeda and Lilly, according to the Bloomberg.com report.
If you or a loved one suffered serious side effects from taking Actos, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878) for more information.