On April 26, 2013, the first Actos trial in the United States came to a conclusion, and a California jury found Takeda, the manufacturer of diabetes drug Actos, liable for injuries including bladder cancer sustained by Jack Cooper, a former Pacific Bell telephone cable splicer, and returned a verdict of $6.5 million (Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., CGC-12-518535, California Superior Court, Los Angeles). The jury deliberated eight days after the conclusion of testimony before the Hon. Kenneth Freeman, Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. The jury found the defendants’ failure to provide adequate warnings about the dangers of Actos was a substantial factor in Mr. Cooper’s injuries. The jury also awarded $1.5 million for loss of consortium to his wife. Mr. Cooper was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November 2011 after taking Actos for more than two years.
Takeda continues to deny liability and has filed motions with the trial court seeking to have it rule in Takeda’s favor as a matter of law. It is also considering additional options, including an appeal of the verdict.
The trial lasted for nearly two months. During the trial, Mr. Cooper’s counsel introduced evidence that showed internal Takeda e-mails in which executives urged Takeda colleagues to persuade the U.S. Food and Drug Administration not to demand increased warnings about bladder cancer on Actos’ label. For instance, Takeda executive Kiyoshi Kitazawa said in an e-mail, “Actos is the most important product for Takeda and therefore we need to manage this issue very carefully and successfully not to cause any damage for this product globally.”
Introduced in 1999, Actos (pioglitazone) quickly became a best-selling diabetes drug. Actos, which is in the thiazolidinedione (TDZ) class of drugs, works by making the body’s cells more receptive to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. However, even before Actos was released to the market, the drug showed a link to bladder cancer and heart failure. Because of the bladder cancer link, the drug’s manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, launched a 10-year study to determine the risks. The results of the first five years of that study were alarming – those taking the drug for longer than a year had a 40 percent increased risk of bladder cancer over those taking other diabetes drugs. In addition, the drug also carries the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s stringent black-box warning for its connection to congestive heart failure.
Thousands of patients who developed bladder cancer after ingesting Actos have joined together in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in a Louisiana federal court. An MDL not only centralizes and streamlines the discovery process, but also allows cases to be heard separately. Other groups of cases, in California and Illinois state courts, have been consolidated into mass torts. Legal analysts predict there could be up to 10,000 court complaints filed against Takeda and its drug Actos.
If you or a loved one have taken Actos and have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, contact us today.You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other injuries.
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