October 2, 2013 — Bloomberg reports that a jury in Baltimore found Takeda Pharmaceuticals liable for failing to properly warn about the risk of bladder cancer from Actos (pioglitazone), a type-2 diabetes drug.
The lawsuit was filed by the family of Diep An, a former U.S. Army translator who started taking Actos in 2007 to treat type-2 diabetes. In September 2011, he was diagnosed with high-grade bladder cancer. He died in January 2012.
The jury ordered Takeda to pay $1.7 million in damages to the plaintiffs, but because the jury also conceded that An’s 30-year smoking habit may have contributed to his death, Judge Brooke Murdock threw out the verdict.
Second Time a Jury Award Has Been Thrown Out
This is the second Actos lawsuit to go before a jury, and the second time Takeda has successfully avoided paying damages. In April 2013, a California jury awarded $6.5 million to plaintiff Jack Cooper, who was diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos for five years.
Takeda persuaded a judge to throw out the $6.5 million verdict because they said lawyers did not present sufficient evidence that Cooper’s bladder cancer was caused by Actos.
3,000 Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuits Pending
When Actos was approved in 1999, the FDA ordered a 10-year study to asses the risk of bladder cancer. In June 2011, the FDA warned that patients who take high-dose Actos for long periods of time appear to have a higher risk of bladder cancer.
The jury’s ruling that Takeda withheld risk information linking Actos and bladder cancer is good news for thousands of people who have filed lawsuits. Over 1,200 Actos lawsuits are centralized before a federal judge in Louisiana for coordinated pre-trial proceedings. Thousands of additional claims are pending in state courts throughout the United States.
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