October 2, 2014 — Takeda Pharmaceuticals has been accused of intentionally concealing evidence linking Actos (pioglitazone) and bladder cancer, putting billions of dollars in profits above the safety of their patients.
Those closing arguments were heard in a trial in Philadelphia this week, according to Bloomberg.
Attorneys representing plaintiff Frances Wisniewski asked the jury to find Takeda liable for failing to adequately warn about the risk of bladder cancer.
They say Takeda knew as early as 2004 about the increased risk, but waited until 2011 to issue a warning. By that time, sales of Actos peaked at $4.5 billion per year. Total sales of the drug were $16 billion since 1999.
Attorneys also told the jury that Takeda intentionally destroyed documents on 46 current and former employees, including top executives and people involved in sales and marketing of Actos, up until 2011. Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty told jurors that Takeda acted in “bad faith” and they could assume that the documents contained critical evidence to support the plaintiffs’ claims.
Takeda argued that Wisniewski developed bladder cancer because she smoked cigarettes and had other risk-factors.
This is the first trial since a jury in Louisiana ordered Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co. to pay a record-setting $9 billion in punitive damages for hiding bladder cancer risks associated with Actos. In April, a federal judge refused to overturn the decision. The jury awarded the plaintiff, Terrence Allen, $1.5 million in compensation for his cancer.
Takeda is now facing about 8,000 lawsuits involving Actos, including 3,500 in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) under Judge Doherty. There are also about 4,500 cases pending in state courts, including West Virginia, California, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.
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The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Actos induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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