In February 2013, one of more than 3,000 Actos lawsuits went to trial. Testimony and court documents suggested that members of Takeda Pharmaceuticals were aware of the increased bladder cancer risk. Despite this knowledge, the company did not adequately warn consumers.
Court documents state that Takeda conducted a survey of doctors asking if a bladder cancer warning would affect their likelihood of prescribing a diabetes drug. The results suggested that Actos sales would plummet. It is speculated that Takeda knowingly postponed adequate warnings to continue making high profit.
Additionally, evidence arose that Takeda destroyed documents related to the case. Shortly before the trial began, a judge, believing the company acted in bad faith, ruled the jury must hear claims that files and documents were destroyed after employees were warned to save al pertinent information. The company admitted they were unable to find files compiled by 46 current and former employees involved with the development, marketing, and sale of the drug, including information from two of the company’s directors.
Ultimately, the case resulted in one of the biggest damages verdicts to date when a Louisiana jury ruled Takeda Pharmaceuticals must pay $9 billion in punitive damages. The verdict requires Eli Lilly to pay $3 billion of the total damages.
In another recent development related to a Las Vegas civil case against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, a Las Vegas judge refused to remove herself after Takeda attorney Daniel Polsenberg requested she step down or declare a mistrial in the case. The request was made after an article appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal alleging a conflict of interest. The attorney representing the two plaintiffs in the case believes Takeda’s lawyers want a mistrial because of the recent Louisiana verdict. The plaintiffs in the Las Vegas case are seeking a multi-billion dollar verdict in the Las Vegas case.
Different Types of Actos Lawsuits
All Actos lawsuits filed through federal court are consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). MDLs group similar cases together during the pretrial phase. Once this preliminary phase is complete, the cases are returned to the appropriate federal court district for the trial. The MDL process prevents overlapping and contradictory rulings which may result from several judges.
Class action Actos lawsuits are also being filed in U.S. District Courts. Class action lawsuits aim to earn one lump settlement from Takeda. If this occurs, any settlement is divided among all Actos patients who received court approval to participate in the lawsuit.
The legal process can be complex and time-consuming. Patients who wish to file an Actos lawsuit should speak with an experienced attorney to discuss individual circumstances and the available legal options. Patients may be eligible to receive financial compensation for expenses and suffering endured from Actos treatment. Families who have lost a loved one to bladder cancer or other fatal Actos side effects may also be eligible to file an Actos lawsuit.
More About Actos
Actos (pioglitazone) was launched in 1999 as a type 2 diabetes treatment. It was originally the less popular of the diabetes drugs on the market, with Avandia being the most frequently prescribed. This changed when Avandia was linked to strokes and heart attacks, allowing the makers of Actos to market it as a safer alternative than Avandia.
Despite the claims of being a safer alternative, Actos is now facing several problems of its own. Many patients benefited from the drug, but for others, it has triggered life-threatening side effects. As a result, hundreds of patients have filed Actos lawsuits in federal and state courts, alleging the drug caused them to develop bladder cancer, suffer heart failure, or cope with a variety of other health problems. It is estimated that as many as 10,000 Actos lawsuit claims will eventually be filed.
Since its 1999 release Actos has generated more than $16 billion in sales. In 2011, sales peaked at $4.5 billion, accounting for more than 25 percent of sales for Tekeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Actos. Takeda is Japan’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer. The majority of Actos lawsuit claims involve Takeda Pharmaceuticals, though American drug manufacturer Eli Lilly is also named in a number of the suits after working with Takeda to market Actos from 1999 to 2006.
Actos lawsuits claim that Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly failed to adequately warn consumers of the dangers of using Actos. Plaintiffs claim that Takeda and other involved parties did not conduct adequate research on the drug’s safety, resulting in Actos patients suffering life-threatening side effects from taking the drug. Hundreds of Actos lawsuit plaintiffs are seeking compensation for the expenses, pain, and suffering associated with their injuries.
Actos Side Effects
Despite the benefits some patients have experienced from using Actos, many have suffered side effects severe enough for them to take legal action. The most common is the development of bladder cancer after using the drug. The problem was so bad Germany and France actually banned Actos in 2011 after research suggested a strong link between pioglitazone and bladder cancer. The study revealed a 40 percent increased risk of developing bladder cancer in patients who took pioglitazone for more than a year.
In America, the reaction was far less severe, with the FDA issuing only a warning for the increased risk of developing bladder cancer. This meant that many people continued to be exposed to the drug without realizing the severity of the potential side effects.
Bladder cancer is not the only medical issue listed in the Actos lawsuits. Other patients using the drug experienced:
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart attacks
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Bone fractures