Posted by Marilyn McGoldrick on April 8, 2015 12:22:16 PM

This week several sources have reported that Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the Japanese manufacturer of the diabetes drug Actos, is close to settling all outstanding Actos lawsuits filed against it around the country in both state and federal courts. Bloomberg News reports that Takeda has offered $2.2 billion dollars to settle the more than 8,000 claims which are currently pending in state and federal courts across the country. This would be one of the largest settlements of lawsuits involving a defective drug.

Prescribed to patients to treat diabetes, Actos (piaglitazone) has been a blockbuster drug for Takeda and its U.S. marketing partner (until 2006), Eli Lilly. It is estimated that Actos sales totaled more than $16 billion dollars worldwide since the drug was introduced in 1999. Actos’s sales peaked at $4.5 billion in 2011.

Taked stands accused of covering up the scientific evidence that Actos raises the risk of bladder cancer in patients. The FDA required the bladder cancer warning on Actos packaging in March of 2011 after analysis of the scientific data. However, discovery in the Actos litigation over the past three years has revealed that Takeda knew of that link in 2004 and actively concealed it from doctors and patients.

While presiding over the more than 4,000 lawsuits consolidated in federal court, Judge Rebecca Doherty ruled that Takeda had deliberately destroyed the files of 46 corporate representatives including board members and presidents, documents and other evidence that would have helped plaintiffs prove that Takeda had covered up its knowledge of the bladder cancer link.

Approximately 4,500 lawsuits are also pending in the state courts of Illinois, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In total, 9 trials have been held, and plaintiffs have prevailed in 5 cases. The most consequential of these was the $9 billion dollar verdict delivered by a Louisiana jury last year. While the punitive award was reduced on appeal, to $36.8 million, the size of the award is likely to have convinced Takeda and Eli Lilly that settlement is the most prudent course.

Thornton Law Firm has assembled a team of attorneys to litigate claims against Takeda and Eli Lilly for patients harmed by Actos. If you believe you developed bladder cancer after taking Actos, please tell us your story here or call 888-341-1405 for a free, confidential evaluation of your claim. You have legal rights, and those rights have strict time limits. Do not delay seeking legal advice.