Jury Deliberates In First Actos Trial

A jury in California is in the midst of deliberating in the first Actos case to go to trial. The plaintiff, Jack Cooper, has claimed that the blockbuster diabetes drug led to his bladder cancer and a variety of other health problems.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the marker of the drug, denied Actos was responsible for Cooper’s health problems, saying that the 79-year-old likely developed the problem as a result of his age, gender or other health concerns such as diabetes. The attorneys claimed that Cooper was already at high risk for developing bladder cancer and that the drug played no part in the disease.

Cooper’s attorney argued that Takeda hid what it knew to be cancer risks from patients and physicians as an attempt to protect the billions of dollars a year the drug was raking in. Cooper’s attorney pointed out that internal studies at Takeda had linked Actos to bladder cancer as early as 2004, yet the drug maker failed to warn the FDA about possible problems until 2011. The plaintiff’s attorney pointed to emails where Takeda executives were evasive about possible problems with the drug even as FDA officials sought specific information about Actos’ health risks as far back as 2005 and 2006.

Currently Takeda is facing more than 3,000 lawsuits from Actos users who claim the drug led to their health problems. Cooper’s is the first suit to make it before a jury, a decision based on his poor health and the belief that he may not live long enough to see a result if the process had continued to drag along. Other cases are grouped together in Illinois and in federal court in Louisiana. The first of the federal cases are set to go to trial in January and are currently in the midst of pretrial exchanges of information.

Jurors have been deliberating for more than a week now, trying to decide whether Takeda should be held liable for failing to warn patients and their doctors that Actos could lead to bladder cancer. Given the thousands of other cases that have been filed on the subject, many are anxiously awaiting word of a final judgment in the Cooper case.

Given the studies linking Actos to bladder cancer, heart trouble and blurred vision, it’s a wonder that the drug and its pharmacological cousin, Nesina, are still being marketed to patients. Attorneys at Pope McGlamry P.C. are currently taking and filing cases against manufacturers to hold them liable for distributing defective products. If you or a loved one has suffered from bladder cancer and you think that it is because of Actos, contact our Georgia product liability litigation attorneys today and schedule a free consultation.

Source: “Takeda Denies Actos Bladder-Cancer Link at First Trial,” by Jef Feeley, published at Bloomberg.com.

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