The Miller Firm. LLC, Commented on Takeda, Lilly Jury Awards $9B Over Cancer Risks of Diabetes Drug
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (4502) and Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) were ordered to pay a combined $9 billion in punitive damages after a federal court jury found they hid the cancer risks of their Actos diabetes medicine in the first U.S. trial of its kind.
Takeda, based in Osaka, Japan, was ordered to pay $6 billion by the jury yesterday in Lafayette, Louisiana.
“I hope Takeda executives in Japan heard what this jury had to say loudly and clearly,” Mark Lanier, a lawyer for former Actos user Terrence Allen, said after the verdict. The jury earlier awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages to Allen, who blamed the drug for his cancer.
The $9 billion jury award, the seventh-largest in U.S. history based on data compiled by Bloomberg, is almost certain to be reduced because the U.S. Supreme Court has said punitive verdicts must be proportional to the awards of compensatory, or actual, damages that underlie them. The country’s highest court has said that in some cases, punitive awards that amount to ten times a compensatory award would be acceptable.
Last year, state juries in California and Maryland ordered Takeda to pay a total of $8.2 million in damages to former Actos users. Judges in both states threw out the verdicts. Jurors this year in state court in Las Vegas rejected claims the company failed to properly warn consumers about the risks of Actos.
n addition to the federal court lawsuits, Takeda and Lilly face hundreds more claims over Actos in state courts including Nevada and Illinois.
Lawyers in an Actos case that began in state court in Las Vegas in February have said they are seeking more than $1 billion in compensatory and punitive damages for two women who blame the drug for their bladder cancers.
Allen alleged in the Louisiana case that he developed bladder cancer after taking Actos for more than five years starting in 2006. Lanier had said before the trial he was seeking at least $15 million in damages for the former hardware-store manager from Attica, New York.
Allen alleged in his lawsuit that Takeda executives ignored or downplayed concerns about the drug’s cancer-causing potential and misled regulators about its risks to protect billions in sales.
Takeda didn’t provide a specific warning about Actos’ cancer risks until 2011, seven years after experts said the bladder-cancer link became clear and 12 years after the drug went on the U.S. market, Lanier said.
- The Miller Firm is taking on the country’s first Actos case has been set for trial in February 2013, with the Miller Firm representing the Plaintiff against the makers of Actos.
- The trial is set to commence on February 19, 2013 in the Los Angeles Superior Court.
- The Miller Firm continues to aggressively litigate these Actos cases on behalf of all their clients in jurisdictions including Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, New Mexico, Chicago, Milwaukee, Baltimore, and St. Louis.
- Oral arguments for the case(s) are expected to take place in Savannah, GA at the December Multi-District Litigation (MDL) hearing session.
- At least 11 other lawsuits have been filled in the Northern District of New York, the Northern District of Illinois, the Western District of New York, the District of New Jersey, the Northern District of Ohio and the Central District of California.
Facts about Actos:
Pioglitazone is a prescription drug sold as “Actos” in the United States. Actos is used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus Type 2 and can also be used for diet or exercise programs. It is not used to treat Type 1 diabetes. Actos is in a class of medications called thiazolidinediones. It works by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin, a natural substance that helps control blood sugar levels.
Recent studies from the FDA and other sources have shown severe negative side effects from taking Actos. If you or a loved one is taking Actos, please read on for facts about the drug and the litigation surrounding it.
- A 2005 Proactive study demonstrated a higher percentage of bladder cancer cases in patients receiving Actos.
- In 2007, the FDA requested that Actos boxes be given a black box label, the strongest FDA-requested label change that can be added to a drug, due to the risk of serious cardiovascular events caused by the drug.
- A study was released on August 24, 2010 showing that the drug was just as dangerous as Avandia in terms of increasing risks of cardiovascular events.
- On June 16, 2011, the FDA required a label change for Actos because the drug, in users using for more than a year, causes a 40% increase in the risk for bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is an aggressive cancer that affects 70,000 Americans a year, with 17,000 dying from the disease.
- On August 17, 2011, the website EHealthMe released a study regarding the side effects of taking Actos and the bladder cancer risk, finding that most of the 22,512 subjects reported side effects when taking Actos and 0.22% have bladder cancer
- France and Germany have banned the use of Actos, an action which affected the FDA’s June 2011 action of requiring a label change.
If you have taken Actos and have had been diagnosed with bladder cancer or have had a serious cardiovascular event, find out how the Miller Firm LLC can help you. Fill out our case review form here on our website and submit it for a free consultation.