Actos News

Jury rules Takeda not Liable in Third Actos Bladder Cancer Trial
Dec. 16, 2013

A jury in Las Vegas has ruled in favor of defendant Takeda Pharmaceutical America, Inc., in the third Actos bladder cancer lawsuit to go to trial. Jurors found Takeda not liable for causing Allen Alsabagh's bladder cancer, which was diagnosed in 2011. This is the first trial in which jurors did not find Takeda negligent for failing to properly warn the plaintiff of the link between Actos, a diabetes drug manufactured by Takeda, and bladder cancer.

The case was complicated by two unusual circumstances. The first was the fact that Alsabagh had purchased generic versions of Actos from online pharmacies outside the United States. This permitted lawyers for Takeda to suggest that some of the drugs taken by the plaintiff were not actually manufactured by Takeda. In addition, Alsabagh’s medical records were incomplete, owing partly to his immigration to the U.S. in 1988. Both of these factors – the purchase of generic Actos and the incomplete medical records – made it more difficult to prove that Actos manufactured by Takeda, and not some other factor related to the generic drugs or previous medical conditions, caused the plaintiff’s bladder cancer.

In two previous trials, one in Los Angeles and one in Baltimore, lawyers for the plaintiffs successfully established that 1) Takeda was aware of a risk that Actos could cause bladder cancer and failed to properly warn the plaintiffs and their physicians of that risk, and 2) that Actos made by Takeda was at least partially responsible for the plaintiffs’ bladder cancer. It is unclear whether confusion surrounding the second point in Las Vegas might have made arguments concerning the first less compelling to the jurors. Upcoming trials may shed light on this question.

According to a story in the Washington Post, more than 6,000 Actos lawsuits against Takeda have been consolidated in federal and state courts. The first of more than 2,500 suits that have been consolidated before a federal judge in Louisiana will go to trial in February 2014. An additional 2,900 suits have been consolidated in Illinois, with the first of the bellwether trials in that state scheduled to begin in March 2014.


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