Things are not looking very promising on the legal front for giant Asian drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceuticals and its U.S. partner Eli Lilly as they defend themselves against a massive number of Actos bladder cancer lawsuits.
Consider these recent developments:
- There has been a $9 billion verdict awarded to a New York man who developed bladder cancer after long-term use of Actos to treat his diabetes.
- There have been thousands of Adverse Event Reports to the Food and Drug Administration over side effects caused by Actos.
- There are now thousands of Actos bladder cancer lawsuits pending in state and federal courts across the country.
- There has been evidence presented to a jury that officials at Takeda Pharmaceuticals knew for years about a link to bladder cancer but failed to tell physicians, patients or the FDA.
- There has been evidence presented to a jury that Takeda Pharmaceuticals officials hid or destroyed important documents from lawyers representing Actos bladder cancer victims.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that legal experts are predicting that there will be many more Actos bladder cancer lawsuits filed in the coming months.
The notoriety of the $9 billion Actos bladder cancer damages awarded by a Louisiana jury to a New York man has spread across the country as major media outlets detailed the case and the history of Actos bladder cancer lawsuits.
The huge damages awarded in this case does not in any way prevent other Actos bladder cancer victims from coming forth and seeking legal representation to recover compensation in their cases, say the experts.
The financial stakes are huge for the defendants. Actos (pioglitazone) has generated nearly $16 billion in sales in the United States alone in the nearly 15 years since it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Legal experts say that the $9 billion in damages awarded to the New York man will be significantly reduced but he likely still will walk away with close to $15 million unless the case is overturned on appeal.
But, with thousands of cases still pending in state and federal courts, and with the news of this verdict generating an increased number of inquiries about possible lawsuits from other Actos bladder cancer victims there could be substantial legal costs to the defendants in the future.
Although Actos had been on pharmacy shelves for over a decade and soon became one of the top-selling diabetes medications it was not until 2011 that the FDA required Actos’s label to contain a warning about the risk of bladder cancer.
In a national health alert, agency officials estimated that people who took Actos for more than a year had a 40 percent higher risk of bladder cancer than people who did not use the drug.