Takeda Pharmaceutical has agreed to a settlement that would resolve the majority of lawsuits alleging that the company’s diabetes drug Actos caused bladder cancer. According to the New York Times, the company would take a $2.7 billion charge against its earning to pay for the settlement and costs for defending remaining cases. If 95 percent of plaintiffs agree to the settlement, it will come into effect and Takeda will pay $2.37 billion. If 97 percent of plaintiffs agree, the total settlement amount will be $2.4 billion. The amount each plaintiff receives will depend on certain factors, such as the severity of their injuries, the cumulative dosage of the drug and smoking history.
The settlement is among the largest product-liability settlements in the pharmaceutical industry, according to NYT. Actos sales have reached more than $24 billion with over 100 million prescriptions since it hit the market in 1999.
The diabetes drug has been profitable for Takeda, but it is also the subject of substantial litigation. There are roughly 9,000 lawsuits alleging that Actos caused bladder cancer. Plaintiffs allege that Takeda hid the cancer risks for financial gain. The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP is actively involved in the litigation, with Jerrold S. Parker, founding partner of the law firm, serving on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.
The FDA warned about the link between Actos and bladder cancer in 2011, stating that patients using the drug for two or more years could face a 40 percent increased risk.
A Louisiana jury ordered Takeda and Eli Lilly, who used to co-market the drug, to pay a combined $9 billion in punitive damages in federal trial last year, finding that the company did the risks. This award was later reduced to $36.8 million by a judge. In state courts, eight Actos trials have taken place. Juries found for plaintiffs in five of the cases, although judges subsequently ruled differently in two of these cases.