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$9 Billion Actos Bladder Cancer Verdict to Stand

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Los Angeles, CAA $9 billion verdict against Takeda Pharmaceuticals will stand, according to US District Judge Rebecca Doherty. The jury hearing a bellweather Actos bladder cancer case awarded the verdict on April 7th, and it was the first of almost 3,000 lawsuits coordinated before Judge Doherty. The lawsuits allege taking Actos increased the risk of getting bladder cancer.

During the proceedings this week, Doherty allowed the jury to hear her earlier ruling in which she sanctioned Takeda for deleting emails. Later, she expanded her ruling, stating that Takeda had acted in bad faith.

Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co., another defendant had applied to have the verdict rejected, which Doherty refused, stating, “Specifically, evidence of the fact that Takeda destroyed files, and why, is relevant to the questions of Takeda’s intent and to the nature of its conduct, a pivotal aspect inherent in the punitive-damages claim.”

The jury found Takeda and Eli Lilly negligent in marketing the drug, which is used for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, by failing to warn about its cancer risks. The verdict includes $1.475 million in compensatory damages.

Actos (pioglitazone hydrochloride) is a member of a class of drugs known as thiazolidinediones, which have been linked to bladder cancer, liver disease and cardiovascular issues. Actos side effects include increased risk of congestive heart failure (CHF), increased risk of rare but serious liver problems, an increased risk of fractures, and an increased risk for bladder cancer. A black box warning exists for Actos and heart failure, however, an Actos whistleblower lawsuit suggests a previously known but downplayed link between Actos and myocardial infarction (Actos heart attack). Actos is used to treat type 2 diabetes.

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