IBJNews

Ex-Lilly partner wins latest suit over Actos' cancer risk

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Asia’s largest drugmaker, was found not liable for the bladder cancer of two women who used its Actos diabetes medication in the company’s latest win as it faces thousands more U.S. lawsuits.

A jury in state court in Las Vegas on Thursday agreed with the company that Actos didn’t cause the women’s disease, handing Takeda its fifth victory out of six cases that have gone to trial over the drug’s alleged link to bladder cancer.

Actos was marketed for Takeda in the United States by Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. from July 1999 to March 2006 and in several other countries until 2011. Lilly isn’t a defendant in the Las Vegas trial but has been named in other lawsuits involving the drug.

A federal jury in Louisiana six weeks ago ordered Takeda and Lilly to pay more than $9 billion in damages to a former shopkeeper who developed bladder cancer after taking the drug. Takeda’s shares fell more than 5 percent in the wake of that award, which will probably be reduced. Lilly was ordered to pay $3 billion of that award, but said its agreement with Takeda indemnifies it from legal losses involving Actos.

“We’re very pleased we prevailed,” Takeda’s general counsel, Kenneth Greisman, said about the Las Vegas decision. “We remain confident Actos is an important treatment for patients.”

The Osaka, Japan-based company, which said it will appeal the Louisiana verdict, has prevailed in the four other cases that went to trial. This month, a jury in Illinois found it wasn’t responsible for the death of a man who took the drug.

Takeda faces claims by more than 7,000 plaintiffs, according to Greisman.

A 2011 analysis by the Food and Drug Administration of a company-sponsored study found some Actos users were more likely to develop bladder cancer or heart problems. Takeda officials failed to adequately warn consumers and doctors of the risks, Robert Eglet, a lawyer for the Nevada plaintiffs, Delores Cipriano and Bertha Triana, told jurors in his closing argument.

Craig Thompson, Takeda’s lawyer, said the plaintiffs failed to prove Actos was the cause of Cipriano’s and Triana’s bladder cancer. Neither woman was using the drug at the time she was diagnosed, he said.

Will Kemp, another lawyer for the Nevada plaintiffs, declined to immediately comment on the verdict.

Actos sales peaked in the year ended March 2011 at $4.5 billion and accounted for 27 percent of Takeda’s revenue at the time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Actos has generated more than $16 billion in sales since its 1999 release, according to court filings. Takeda now faces generic competition from Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd.

Last year, state juries in California and Maryland ordered Takeda to pay a total of $8.2 million in damages to former Actos users. Judges in both states threw out the verdicts.

In December, jurors in Las Vegas rejected claims the company failed to properly warn consumers about the risks of Actos.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

ADVERTISEMENT