So far, around 8,000 patients in the United States have filed lawsuits against Japanese pharmaceutical giant Taketa alleging their blockbuster diabetes drug Actos caused them to develop bladder cancer.
Bloomberg reports eight of these cases have reached trial already, with five resulting in verdicts for the victims. In April, a jury awarded an astonishing $9 billion to a New York man afflicted with bladder cancer after Actos use.
A judge has since reduced that award to around $37 million, but another recent award of $2 million for a Philadelphia woman demonstrates juries aren’t afraid to hold the company accountable.
Now, reports indicate Taketa might have destroyed evidence to try to keep plaintiffs in future cases from having similar success. A jury last month found that the company eliminated records detailing how they developed and marketed Actos, and that doing so blocked patients’ chances of maintaining claims.
The jury awarded a former baker in West Virginia who developed bladder cancer $155,000 in compensation after Taketa’s fraud, but this is only a fraction of what his claim may have been worth had he been able to get the destroyed evidence.
Next up, more than 3,500 cases are pending in a special Actos federal court in Louisiana. Taketa will have to decide whether to keep incurring public embarrassment, or reach a settlement with victims.
DrugNews will continue to provide updates on Actos lawsuits and warnings, and can connect anyone affected to a qualified lawyer for quick help.
Feeley, J. Taketa Ordered to Pay $155,000 for Destroying Actos Files. Bloomberg News. (November 17, 2014). Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-18/takeda-must-pay-damages-for-destroying-actos-files-lawyer-says.html
Last summer, the Department of Justice unveiled the details of an ongoing lawsuit and resulting settlement against industrial giant 3M, claiming the company had furnished defective combat earplugs to millions of U.S. troops serving around the world.