A Pennsylvania jury this week ruled that a retired teacher’s bladder cancer was caused in large part by the diabetes medication Actos, and that the maker of the drug had not properly warned he or his doctor of the dangers.
The decision is the latest warning to consumers over the safety of Actos, which was once the most popular drug in the world for treating type-2 diabetes. Japanese drug maker Takeda continues to claim it is safe, although they now face over 7,500 patient lawsuits for bladder cancer.
The trial, which is the 8th so far for Actos, started in late January in Philadelphia. Retried teacher John Kristufek was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2008 after taking Actos for three years.
Cancer experts testified on Kristufek’s behalf, saying a multitude of recent studies point to the conclusion that the drug contributes to bladder cancer. Lawyers also argued that Takeda added a label warning for bladder cancer in 2011, although they claim in lawsuits that it isn’t related.
A jury deliberated less than 2 days before deciding in Kristufek’s favor. They awarded him almost $320,000 in past medical costs, plus $2,000,000 in damages.
Takeda is almost guaranteed to appeal the decision instead of admit wrongdoing. However, this is the fourth time they’ve been hit with a verdict over Actos bladder cancer.
The first, a whopping $9 billion verdict meant to send a message to the company for hiding safety data, was later reduced to $38 million. Another $2 million verdict in October in the same Philadelphia court followed.
Last November, a court sent perhaps the strongest message when they awarded $155,000 in penalties to a patient after finding Takeda intentionally destroyed evidence that would have hurt their case defending Actos.
Takeda is being urged to negotiate a settlement for the remaining Actos cases rather than face repeated trials and bad public attention. However, it is unclear whether they will agree to compensate victims.
DrugNews will continue to monitor any new information over Actos safety and litigation. If you’ve been affected, call us today to speak with a lawyer.
Fair, M. Takeda Hit With $2.3M Verdict in Philly Actos Case. Law 360 (February 12, 2015). Retrieved from http://www.law360.com/lifesciences/articles/620873/takeda-hit-with-2-3m-verdict-in-philly-actos-case
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