June 2, 2014 — Takeda Pharmaceuticals has been cleared of wrongdoing in a lawsuit blaming Actos (pioglitazone) on two cases of bladder cancer. Lawyers say they plan to appeal the verdict.
The plaintiffs include Delores Cipriano, 81, and Bertha Triana, 80, of Nevada. They accuse Takeda of downplaying risk information linking Actos and bladder cancer. Cipriano was diagnosed with bladder cancer in July 2012 after taking Actos for at least nine months, beginning in August 2010. Triana was diagnosed with bladder cancer in May 2012 after taking Actos for 20 months between late 2005 and early 2008. Attorneys were seeking compensatory damages of $35 million for Triana and $25 million for Cipriano, along with a “couple billion dollars” in punitive damages, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
It is the second win for Takeda in recent months. In May, a jury declined to award damages for the wife of an Illinois man who died of bladder cancer in 2006. The 57 year-old man was also a smoker and a diabetic, both risk-factors for bladder cancer.
However, last month, a jury in Louisiana awarded plaintiffs an eye-popping $9 billion in compensation and punitive damages against Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co. That verdict is under appeal. A major factor in the award was Takeda’s destruction of vital documents on dozens of employees involving the manufacturing and marketing of Actos.
In June 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Takeda to update the label to warn about the risk of bladder cancer from Actos. Specifically, the five-year results showed that patients taking high doses of Actos for at least one year were 40% more likely to develop bladder cnacer.
Takeda is currently facing over 3,000 lawsuits involving Actos and diabetes. The cases are centralized in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2299) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, overseen by Judge Rebecca Doherty.
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