Actos, a highly controversial diabetes medication, has been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. The Japanese-based company Takeda Pharmaceuticals, which held a patent on Actos, is now facing 3,300 bladder cancer related suits.
The first of many suits resulted in a jury verdict for the Plaintiff, Jack Cooper, in the amount of $6.5 million; however, the Judge, Kenneth Freeman, ultimately tossed out the jury’s award.
According to Judge Freeman, a physician’s testimony, which opined that Actos triggered Coopers Disease, was “inherently unreliable.” As such, Judge Freeman felt that he had no choice but to throw out the $6.5 million award.
After the judge threw out the award, Senior Vice President and general counsel of Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., Kenneth D. Greisman, stated, “we have empathy for Mr. Cooper and his family, but agree with the court’s finding. In granting the motion, the judge ruled that the plaintiffs failed to offer any reliable evidence that Mr. Cooper’s disease was caused by Actos.”
However, Greisman also stated that patient safety was a huge priority for the company, and that Takeda would vigorously defend any future lawsuits relating to the use of Actos.
There are an estimated 1,200 federal lawsuits gathered in a Louisiana court involving the diabetes medicine Actos, and, as mentioned previously at the beginning of this article, a total of more than 3,300 bladder-cancer claims.
The FDA has since required Takada to change its warning label, while Germany and France have pulled the drug from the market all together. As a result, Takada has lost the patent for Actos, and is suffering financial hardship while generic brands increase their respective market share.
It is still too early to consider Takada Pharmaceuticals dead in the water. They were victorious in their first trial (albeit via technicality), they’ve recently received a green light on a new diabetes drug, Nesina, and they have acquired smaller drug-makers to fill the void left by Actos.
It will be interesting to see where the future of the diabetes medication arsenal leads us, especially with Actos’ patent running. Feel free to comment on this blog post. For more information, contact a Gacovino Lake attorney at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).