Actos News

Federal Jury Awards $9 Billion in Punitive Damages Against Takeda
and Eli Lilly in Actos Case
April 8, 2014

A federal jury found that Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and Eli Lilly & Co. hid the cancer risks associated with their diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone), rendering a verdict that both companies should pay a combined $9 billion in punitive damages. The jury award, which represents the seventh-largest in U.S. history, determined that Takeda should pay $6 billion and that Eli Lilly should pay $3 billion. 

The jury found that Takeda and Eli Lilly "failed to adequately warn" the public about the link between Actos and bladder cancer, and both companies were "negligent in marketing" the diabetes drug. The jury also found that executives at both Takeda and Eli Lilly "acted with wanton and reckless disregard" for patient safety.

The two companies entered a partnership in 1999. For about seven years, Eli Lilly was Takeda's partner in selling and marketing Actos in the United States. After the partnership ended, Eli Lilly still maintained the rights to sell Actos in Mexico and Canada, as well as parts of Asia and Europe. 

The jury also awarded the plaintiff in this case, Terrance Allen, $1.475 million for his injury claim. Allen, who took Actos for roughly seven years, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011. He claims that Takeda disregarded concerns about Actos' link to bladder cancer in an effort to protect the billions in sales the drug was generating. Takeda, according to his lawsuit, didn't provide any warnings about the link between Actos and bladder cancer until 2011, roughly seven years after the link to bladder cancer became clear, and about 12 years after Actos was released. Since 1999, Actos has generated roughly $16 billion in sales. 

Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman assisted in the preparation of experts and a whistleblower witness for this case, their client, former Takeda safety consultant Dr. Helen Ge, provided key testimony that played a prominent role in Monday's verdict.

According to Bloomberg, Takeda and Eli Lilly will appeal the jury's decision.


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