Bloomberg News, in its coverage of the progress of hundreds of Actos bladder cancer lawsuits reported the following financial information about Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the Asian company that manufactures Actos:
“Sales of Actos peaked in the year ended March 2011 at $4.5 billion and accounted for 27 percent of Takeda’s revenue at the time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Actos has generated more than $16 billion in sales since its 1999 release, according to court filings. Takeda now faces generic competition from Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd.”
Takeda is Asia’s largest drugmaker and is now defending itself in two major trials in Louisiana and Nevada over allegations that its top-selling diabetes medication Actos caused patients to develop bladder cancer.
It’s not surprising that with such huge sales figures for Actos that the victims in the cases are seeking over $1 billion in damages from juries in trials now underway.
Lawyers for the victims told the juries that they will prove that there is a definitive increased risk of developing cancer as a result of long-term use of Actos and that Takeda officials knew about this dangerous side effect and withheld that information from patients, health care professionals and government regulators.
The lawyers are telling the jurors that Takeda put corporate profits ahead of consumer safety, according to trial testimony. Bloomberg reported these details of the Louisiana trial:
“Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. executives hid the risks of its Actos diabetes drug from consumers and doctors and should be held liable for a former shopkeeper’s cancer, a lawyer said at the start of the first federal trial over the medication.”
Bloomberg reported that the lawyer for plaintiff Terrence Allen told jurors that officials of Osaka, Japan-based Takeda failed until 2011 to provide any warning that research showed Actos was linked to bladder cancer, duping patients such as Allen into thinking the drug was safe. Find out more about Actos Bladder Cancer cases
“You’ll hear testimony from Terry’s doctors that if they’d been told the truth about this drug, they would not have given it” to him, the lawyer told the seven-woman, two-man jury, according to the report.
Bloomberg said Allen, a retired hardware-store manager, is seeking at least $15 million in damages from Takeda.
“Takeda, Asia’s largest drugmaker, faces the claims over Actos about a month after it scrapped development of another diabetes drug when research linked it to liver damage,” Bloomberg reported. “The Louisiana jury is the fourth panel to weigh allegations that Takeda executives sold Actos knowing it could cause cancer and failed to properly warn doctors and consumers about the medication’s risks.”
Lawyers for Takeda told jurors that it did warn patients about the side effect risks of Actos and that there isn’t sufficient evidence to show that Allen’s cancer was caused by the medication.