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Jury Awards More than $2 Million in Actos Bladder Cancer Case

Oct 7, 2014

A jury in a Pennsylvania state court awarded more than $2 million to a woman who claimed Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone) caused her bladder cancer.

The plaintiff’s case alleged that Takeda officials failed to adequately warn Frances Wisniewski’s doctor about the cancer risks associated with Actos use, Bloomberg News reports. Wisniewski’s attorney said Takeda “clearly failed to warn.” He said he considers this “a fair verdict” since Wisniewski faces a life with bladder cancer.

In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that taking Actos for more than a year could significantly increase the risk of bladder cancer and the safety label on Actos was updated to address this risk. Wisniewski’s doctor took her off the medication soon after the label update, Law360 reported. Studies published in 2012 in the BMJ and in the Canadian Medical Association Journal both reported an increased likelihood that Actos users would develop bladder cancer.

This is not the first case to result in a damage award to an Actos plaintiff. Last year a record $9 billion was awarded in Louisiana case against Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co. for hiding Actos’s risks. The two companies have requested a new trial. In 2013, a California jury awarded $6.5 million to a couple who alleged Actos caused the husband’s terminal bladder cancer. In another 2013 case, a Maryland jury found Takeda liable for a man’s bladder cancer death and awarded his family $1.77 million, but Maryland law does not allow damage awards where there is contributory negligence and the jury had found that the man was responsible in part for his death.

According to court records, more than 2,700 Actos suits have been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty in Louisiana for pretrial proceedings. In addition to the federal lawsuits, there are hundreds of Actos cases in state courts, Bloomberg News reports.

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