ACTOS DRUG SETTLEMENT
After several years of litigation, the japanese pharmaceutical company, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, has agreed to pay $2.37 billion in claims to plaintiffs who used their diabetes drug, Actos (pioglitzone), which gave them bladder cancer. It is one of the largest drug company payouts to plaintiffs in U.S. history. The settlement follows several years of tough litigation by plaintiff’s counsel on behalf of victims who unknowingly were put at risk of bladder cancer.
The alleagtions against Takeda Pharmaceutical Company included that the company hid the risks from users, patients and physicians and failed to warn the public that use of Actos is associated with bladder cancer.
Drug Never Recalled from Market
Despite the fact that several countries banned Actos because of it association with causing bladder cancer in patients, the Takeda pharmaceutical company did not recall it from the U.S. market. Both the French and German health officials banned the drug because of its increased risk of bladder cancer to patients.
However, despite the growing number of lawsuits and public concern about its diabetes medication, Takeda never issued a U.S. recall of it.
The litigation against Takeda over its blockbuster drug, Actos, started in 2011 when a study linking the medication to an increased risk of bladder cancer surfaced. The company in 2014 released a study of a company funded 10 year study that said there was no statistical significance between increased risk of bladder cancer with long term use. However, other studies, including Takeda’s own five year interim study, show an increased risk. Patients who took the drug for more than a year had double the risk of those who did not take the drug. In 2012, a study in BMJ showed long term users of Actos had an 83% increased risk of the deadly cancer.
According the New Jersey product liability attorney, George T. Baxter, Esq., the Actos settlement is a victory for the unfortunate victims of the drug. Mr. Baxter said, “While no amount of money can compensate a person for bladder cancer, the settlement is helpful to the victims and their families.”
Mr. Baxter noted that during the litigation, plaintiffs alleged that Takeda destroyed evidence on a massive scale to avoid liability. According to Drugwatch.com in a Navada case the plaintiffs alleged that the company knew it drug could cause bladder cancer but hide the risk.
George T. Baxter, Esq., is a New Jersey lawyer who was nominated by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice to receive the Trial Lawyer of the Year Public Achievement Award for Protecting health care consumers.