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After a nearly two-month long trial in California, and jury deliberations that went on for more than a week, the plaintiff in the first Actos bladder cancer trial was awarded $6.5 million dollars. An additional $1.5 million was awarded to his spouse for loss of consortium. The jury found that Takeda, the manufacturer of the popular diabetes drug Actos, failed to properly warn the plaintiff of the increased risks of bladder cancer. Internal emails from Takeda executives were entered into evidence in this trial, showing that as Takeda became aware of the serious risks associated with their product, they did not make any effort to warn or educate patients or physicians of the increased risks of bladder cancer. Instead, they set about trying to convince the FDA not to add any warnings to the label of their blockbuster medication. As we have seen in so many similar cases, the pharmaceutical executives were far more concerned with profits than with patient safety. One Takeda executive wrote in an internal email: “Actos is the most important product for Takeda and we need to manage this issue very carefully and successfully not to cause any damage for this product globally”.
Studies have shown that after one year of Actos use, the risk of bladder cancer increases by as much as 40%. This risk increases after two years of Actos use, and the risk appears to be even more dramatic in male populations. The recent verdict in California is a victory for all the individuals who have been harmed by this drug. There are more than 1,000 Actos bladder cancer lawsuits filed in courts at both the state and federal levels. Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter have been involved in Actos litigation since 2011. If you or a loved one took Actos and have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, contact us today for a free evaluation of your potential legal claim.