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Shezad Malik MD JD
Shezad Malik MD JD
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$6.5 M Jury Verdict in California Actos Bladder Cancer Trial

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Today on April 26, 2013, a Los Angeles California jury found Takeda liable for bladder cancer injuries to Jack Cooper. As reported earlier the outcome of this first Actos bladder cancer trial was eagerly antipated by the many thousands of injured plaintiffs who had filed their Actos Bladder Cancer lawsuits.

The jury after intense deliberation over 8 days, returned a verdict of $6.5 million (Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., CGC-12-518535, California Superior Court, Los Angeles). The jury found the defendant Takeda's failure to provide adequate warnings about the dangers of Actos drug was a substantial causative factor in Mr. Cooper’s bladder cancer. The jury also awarded $1.5 million for loss of consortium to his wife. Cooper was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November 2011 after taking Actos for more than two years.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals Continues to Deny Liability

Despite the verdict, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., continues to deny liabilty, and has filed motions asking the judge to rule in favor of the company as a matter of law and is considering its options, including a possible appeal if the motions are denied. The trial began on February 19 in Los Angeles before Judge Kenneth R. Freeman.

“Takeda respectfully disagrees with the jury’s verdict,” said Kenneth D. Greisman, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.

“Takeda empathizes with patients like Mr. Cooper, but we believe the evidence did not support a finding that ACTOS caused his bladder cancer. We also believe we demonstrated that Takeda acted responsibly with regard to ACTOS. We promptly disclosed ACTOS safety data to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and other regulatory authorities and provided updated product information to health care professionals and patients.”

Actos 2 Month Long Trial

During the almost two-month trial, evidence showed internal Takeda e-mails in which executives urged colleagues to persuade the U.S. Food and Drug Administration not to demand increased warnings about bladder cancer on Actos’s label. “Actos is the most important product for Takeda and therefore we need to manage this issue very carefully and successfully not to cause any damage for this product globally,” Takeda executive Kiyoshi Kitazawa said in an e-mail.

Actos a Multi Billion Dollar Blockbuster Drug

Takeda marketed the drug in the US with peak sales in 2011 at 4.5 billion, or about 27% of Takeda’s revenue according to data compiled by Bloomberg news. According to court records, Takeda is facing more than 3,000 suits alleging Actos caused bladder cancer.

Other cases are in state court in Illinois and more than 1,200 suits have been consolidated before a federal judge in Louisiana for pretrial information exchanges. The first federal case is set for trial in January, according to court filings.