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Actos Lawsuits - 2014 - 2015

Actos is a pharmaceutical that has been used by adults since 1999 for treatment of type 2 Diabetes. It acts to control blood sugar (glucose) levels in adults. Roughly 8,000 lawsuits are filed against Actos in the USA courts. The manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Lily, did not disclose potential cancer risks to the public after they discovered problems with Actos and a link to bladder cancer in 2004, yet waited 7 years to come forward.

Takeda Denies Actos Bladder-Cancer Link at First Trial
Bloomberg News April 16, 2013

[...] While Takeda's internal studies uncovered links to bladder cancer as early as 2004, the company didn't alert U.S. regulators until seven years later, he said. [...]

FDA issues a warning in 2011 about Actos use and risk of bladder cancer.

Problems were seen in rat testing even prior to the FDA approval of this drug in 1999. Takeda was hit with $6 billion in punitive damages, while co-manufacturer Lily was hit with $3 billion in punitive damages.

Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical hit with $6bn Actos damages bill
BBC April 8, 2014

[...] The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in 2011 that using Actos for more than one year could be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Governments in France and Germany banned Actos after the FDA's announcement. [...]

The manufacturers' failure to disclose potential risks of bladder cancer from extended use of Actos was not the end, subpoened evidence was also somehow destroyed at Takeda, which the victims believe would have proven their case. The jury for the Actos trial where this information came to light issued a record setting punitive judgement against the makers of Actos, Takeda and Lily.

Takeda, Lilly Jury Awards $9 Billion Over Actos Risks
Bloomberg News April 7, 2014

[...] The $9 billion jury award, the seventh-largest in U.S. history based on data compiled by Bloomberg, will probably be reduced because the U.S. Supreme Court has said punitive verdicts, imposed for bad conduct, must be proportional to the awards of compensatory, or actual, damages that underlie them. The court has said that in limited cases, punitive awards that amount to ten times a compensatory award would be acceptable. [...]

Later in 2014, because of tort law and proportional limits in punitive judgements, the $9 billion award was reduced, but the manufacturers of Actos were denied a retrial.

Takeda, Lilly Win 99.6% Cut in Actos Punitive Damages
Bloomberg News October 27, 2014

[...] The reduction brings the award "to the maximum amount a jury could have properly awarded" under current U.S. law, Doherty said. The judge denied Takeda's and Lilly's request for a new trial. […] Allen's attorneys presented jurors with "ample evidence" about Takeda's and Lilly's mishandling of the drug and the panel properly came up with a verdict intended to deter future misconduct, the judge found. [...]

And Takeda was ordered to pay nominal amount for the jury finding that they intentionally destroyed evidence critical to the case.

Takeda Ordered to Pay $155,000 for Destroyng Actos Files
Bloomberg News November 18, 2014

[…] Jurors in state court in Martinsburg, West Virginia, deliberated about three hours today before concluding Takeda officials intentionally destroyed files about the development and marketing of Actos, Michael Miller, the plaintiff's lawyer, said in an interview. […] The panel found the systematic document destruction blocked Myers from having access to evidence that could have proved his claims that Takeda failed to adequately warn about the diabetes drug's cancer risks, Miller said.

The plaintiff attorneys for the victims of Actos say that the makers put profit ahead of human life. The drug Actos made the manufacturers over $16 billion. The makers of Actos destroyed evidence and didn't report their own internal findings of a link between taking Actos and developing bladder cancer for 7 years. With so many trials yet to be heard, who knows what may yet come to light. In February 2015, more large verdicts for plaintiffs have been awarded quickly by juries. Some imagine Takeda and Lily should want to be negotiating a settlement with such large jury awards.

Takeda Ordered to Pay $2.3 Million in Damages to Actos User
Bloomberg News February 12, 2015

Jurors in state court in Philadelphia deliberated more than eight hours over two days before finding that Osaka, Japan-based Takeda failed to properly warn John Kristufek's doctors about Actos's cancer risks. […] The jury also said Takeda showed "reckless indifference" to Kristufek's health by hiding Actos' risks, a finding that opens up the drugmaker to a potential punitive award.

Actos still has not been recalled in the USA. Dangerous defective product recalls are announced everyday, like the Depuy hip device, GM ignition, auto air bag recalls, child seats, baby cribs, children toys, etc. Unfortunately, before a product is identified as dangerous and defective, usually that product has already seriously injured individuals. Too many have lost their lives to products that were later known to be dangerous. Corporations would not be held accountable without regulators like the FDA, NHTSA, and personal injury lawyers who demand justice on behalf of those seriously injured.