Takeda Pharmaceuticals — Asia’s largest drugmaker — has already been slapped with a $9 billion-plus jury verdict in a recent trial in which Takeda’s Actos diabetes drug was proven to have caused bladder cancer in a patient.
Now, another Actos bladder cancer lawsuits is being heard in Las Vegas, Nevada where two women in their 80s are also seeking over a billion dollars in damages for the bladder cancer they claim to have developed as a result of using the medication.
The $9 billion case involved a New York man who developed bladder cancer as a result of his use of Actos and the verdict by a Louisiana jury is one of the largest ever in U.S. judicial history.
The legal costs that Takeda and its U.S. partner, Eli Lilly may have to absorb could go even higher as testimony continues in Las Vegas where one of the women told jurors that she would never have taken Actos to treat her diabetes is she had been made aware it could lead to bladder cancer.
The Las Vegas Journal-Review, in its coverage of the trial, reported that Delores Cipriano, 81, said no one ever informed her about such a risk and provided these details:
“If they did, I would have really paid attention,” she said. Cipriano, who has had diabetes for 20 years, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in July 2012.
The newspaper reported that Cipriano and “Las Vegas resident Bertha Triana, 80, each filed lawsuits last year in Clark County District Court against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, a Japanese company that makes the prescription drug pioglitazone under the trade name Actos. Both women claim their bladder cancer was caused by the medication.”
Their cases were consolidated, the newspaper said, and District Judge Kerry Earley is presiding over the trial, which began with jury selection on Feb. 10.
There are still thousands of other Actos bladder cancer lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country that are pending and huge damages in these cases could portend additional huge legal damages for the defendants, say legal experts.
Among the legal problems that Takeda will face in future trials is the fact that company officials were found to have been aware of significant numbers of bladder cancer cases involving Actos early in the 2000s but hid that damaging evidence from patients, physicians and government regulators.
There was also some other Takeda dirty laundry presented to jurors. Company officials hid or destroyed some important documents that might have damaged their defense in this trial and perhaps thousands of others to follow.