by Marilyn T. McGoldrick, Esq.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals executives have reportedly offered more than $2.3 billion dollars to resolve the more than 8,000 lawsuits alleging that it hid the bladder cancer risks of its popular diabetes drug Actos. The settlement must still be approved, but reportedly the details of the settlement are final. If you or a loved one developed bladder cancer after taking Actos for diabetes, call the Actos lawyers at Thornton Law Firm at 888-341-1405 or tell us your story here for a free consultation.

Actos (piaglitazone) is prescribed for patients for Type 2 diabetes to regulate blood glucose. It has been on the market since 1999 and has accounted for billions of dollars in sales for Takeda and Eli Lilly, its U.S. marketing partner. Sales of Actos peaked at $4.5 billion dollars in 2011 and constituted 27% of Takeda’s revenue.

More than 3500 lawsuits are pending in federal court in Louisiana, and 4500 are pending in other state courts. In the lawsuits, Takeda is accused of covering up its own data showing that Actos raises the risk of bladder cancer in patients. The FDA required a bladder cancer warning to be added to the label for Actos in March 2011 after analyzing the scientific data. However, documents produced by Takeda in the Actos litigation revealed Takeda knew of that link as early as 2004 and took measures to conceal the information from doctors and patients.

Takeda stands accused of destroying documents it was ordered to produce by the federal court. Last summer Federal Court Judge Rebecca Doherty ruled that Takeda had deliberately destroyed the files of 46 corporate representatives whose documents would have helped plaintiffs prove that Actos caused bladder cancer and that Takeda had engaged in a deliberate attempt to cover up that fact.

In April of last year, a federal jury in Louisiana awarded a man who developed bladder cancer after taking Actos $9 billion dollars in punitive damages against Takeda. Although the award was later reduced on appeal to $36.8 million dollars, certainly the risk of such large jury awards has led to this reported settlement. In total, 9 trials have gone to verdict alleging Actos caused bladder cancer, and the plaintiff prevailed in 5 of those cases.

Reports indicate the settlement will amount to more than $287,000 per claim. Actos users whose cases warrant greater compensation can opt out and continue to litigate in court. According to Bloomberg Business, an individual’s final settlement may be reduced by certain factors, including age, smoking history and exposure to toxins. The settlement reportedly allows Takeda to walk away from the agreement if less than a certain percentage plaintiffs of agree to participate.

If you believe you or someone you love developed bladder cancer after taking Actos for diabetes, call the Actos lawyers at Thornton Law Firm on our toll free number 888-341-1405 or tell us your story online for a free, confidential evaluation of your legal claim. All legal claims have strict time limits so do not delay seeking legal advice.