Actos, Takeda’s diabetes drug, has fueled safety concerns due to reports that the drug can increase the risk of bladder cancer. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed alleging that the drug is to blame for bladder cancer diagnoses and that the company failed to warn about the risks. In April, Takeda announced a potential settlement which could go as high as $2.7 billion to resolve most of the 9,000 lawsuits. The settlement would be effective and reach $2.37 billion if 95 percent of plaintiffs agreed to it, the New York Times reports. Takeda said the settlement amount would increase to $2.4 billion if 97 percent of plaintiffs agree. Award amounts would depend on a number of factors, including cumulative dosage, the severity of the injury and smoking history.
According to court records, there are more than 3,500 Actos lawsuits consolidated before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty in Lafayette, Louisiana. Another 4,500 cases are filed in state courts in Illinois, West Virginia, California and Pennsylvania. Plaintiffs allege that Takeda hid the risks of bladder cancer.
Parker Waichman LLP has had an active leadership role in the litigation. Jerrold S. Parker, founding partner of the firm, serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC). The national personal injury law firm has filed numerous lawsuits on behalf of individuals who developed bladder cancer, allegedly due to the use of Actos. If you or someone you know wants more information about pursuing litigation, contact Parker Waichman LLP today.
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Research shows that Actos is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the use of Actos for two years or more could significantly increase the risk of bladder cancer. Two studies published in 2012 supported this link. The British Medical Journal published a study in May 2012 showing that Actos users were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer after using the drug for two years. In July of that year, the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported that Actos was associated with a 22 percent increased risk of bladder cancer.
In June 2011, use of Actos was suspended in France due to research showing an increased risk of bladder cancer. These findings prompted regulators in Germany to advise against starting the drug in new patients.
Large verdicts have been issued against Actos manufacturers in the litigation. Last year, a jury ordered Takeda and Eli Lilly to pay a total of $9 billion in punitive damages after finding that the companies hid the risk of bladder cancer. Last October, a jury ordered Takeda to pay $2 million to a woman who alleged that Actos is to blame for her bladder cancer, finding that the company failed to warn.
Actos patients are not the only ones pursuing litigation. Last year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against Eli Lilly and Takeda alleging that the companies hid the risks of bladder cancer. They seek compensation for the cost of medical bills for hundreds of alleged victims who developed cancer after taking the diabetes drug. More than 10 cases were filed by Blue Cross and its subsidiary Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts HMO Blue Inc., alleging that Takeda and Eli Lilly are responsible for their insured’s injuries related to the use of Actos. Blue Cross accused the drug makers of negligently or fraudulently concealing the link between Actos and bladder cancer. “By virtue of its payment for injuries sustained by an insured member as a direct result of the allegations herein, BCBSMA is subrogated to the rights of their insured members to recover from the person(s) or entity(ies) responsible for said injuries,” the lawsuit states.
In April 2013, a California jury awarded $6.5 million to a man with terminal bladder cancer, allegedly due to Actos. It was the first of 3,000 Actos bladder cancer cases filed nationwide to go to trial and involving allegations that Takeda neglected to advise physicians about Actos’ health risks. Due to the man’s grave condition, his case was chosen to be heard first.
If you or a loved one developed bladder cancer after taking Actos, you may have valuable legal rights. For more information about filing a lawsuit, contact an attorney at Parker Waichman LLP.
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