Takeda Pharmaceutical, the maker of Actos, is back before a jury as the second case over problems with its potentially dangerous drug heads to trial. The lead plaintiff’s attorney in that case told jurors that Takeda put sales ahead of safety when it failed to warn millions of consumers about dangers associated with it’s popular diabetes medicine.
The plaintiff’s attorney argued that officials with Takeda knew as far back as 2005 that their blockbuster diabetes medication had been linked to increased risk of cancer, yet no warning was issued to doctors or the public for six years. The lawyer told jurors that Takeda weighed the pros and cons and decided against warning the public in favor of continuing to sell billions of dollars worth of the drug. The plaintiff’s attorney noted that sales of Actos peaked at $4.5 billion in 2011 when the drug accounted for 27 percent of Takeda’s annual revenue.
The case before the Maryland jury concerns the death of Diep An, a Vietnamese immigrant who died last year from bladder-cancer. An spent years working as an Army translator and began taking Actos to treat his diabetes in 2007. Several years later, in 2011, he was diagnosed with high-grade bladder cancer and died only a few months later. His family’s attorney claims that An’s death can be linked directly to his use of Actos.
Takeda argues that An’s bladder cancer was not caused by Actos, but may have instead resulted from the fact that An used to smoke. Takeda argues that it properly warned consumers about the dangers of its products, saying this despite a FDA review in 2011 which found that some Actos users faced an increased risk of developing bladder cancer and heart problems. The drug has since been pulled off shelves in France and Germany as regulators raised concerns about the safety of the product.
An’s case is the second of more than 3,000 Actos suits to make it to trial. Earlier this year a jury in California awarded $6.5 million to an injured patient who also blamed their bladder cancer on the drug. The judge later threw out the verdict in that case, a decision that is currently on appeal. Analysts and other legal experts are closely watching this latest case to see if the jury again comes down against Takeda, a result that would spell serious trouble for the drug maker.
If you or a loved one have taken Actos and have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other injuries. 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 Put Actos Sales Ahead of Safety, Lawyer Tells Jury,” by Peter Geier, published at Bloomberg.com.
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