April 29, 2015 — Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co. has agreed to pay $2.37 billion to settle the “vast majority” of lawsuits accusing the company of failing to warn about the risk of bladder cancer from the company’s diabetes drug Actos.
According to Bloomberg, participants in the settlement would be offered a payment of $296,000 per case, but that figure could be reduced depending on age, smoking history, and exposure to toxins.
The $2.3 billion settlement is one of the largest involving failure-to-warn claims against a pharmaceutical company, but it is dwarfed by last year’s $9 billion verdict against Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co. by a federal jury in Louisiana. That award was slashed to just $36.8 million under state laws capping punitive damages.
A major factor in the eye-popping verdict was Takeda’s destruction of critical documents on more than 40 current and former employees who were involved in the development and marketing of Actos.
In the last two years, Takeda has faced nine trials accusing them of hiding bladder cancer risks associated with Actos. Three ended in defense verdicts, but five juries found the company liable for failing to warn about the risk of bladder cancer.
In 2011, the FDA warned about studies linking Actos to a 40% increased risk of bladder cancer when high doses were used for at least one year.
Approximately 4,300 lawsuits are currently pending in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in Louisiana before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty. More lawsuits are pending in state courts in Illinois, West Virginia, California, and Pennsylvania.
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