$2.2 Billion Takeda Actos Settlement

date: 04/14/2015

In hopes of resolving litigation that has been ongoing since 2011, Takeda Pharmaceuticals has offered $2.2 billion to settle thousands of cases regarding the diabetes drug Actos.

According to experts, this would be one of the largest class action settlements dealing with defective drugs and poor labeling.

The proposed settlement would cover over 8,000 lawsuits, with a payout of approximately $275,000 per case. While this would be one of the largest payouts for this type of case, some plaintiff’s attorneys do not think that $2.2 billion is enough to adequately cover damages, especially given the fact that Actos has generated over $16 billion in sales since release in 1999.

Intended to improve glucose control in insulin sensitive patients, Actos has been responsible for numerous medical complications in its users, including heart failure, lactic acidosis, bone fractures, and most notably bladder cancer.

Symptoms of bladder cancer include bloody urine, trouble urinating, fatigue, weight loss, and back pain. Many Actos users have been subject to these symptoms, as well as those associated with heart disease.

The FDA found that people who have been taking Actos for over one year would be 40% more likely to develop bladder cancer. This finding was supported by a 10 year study from the Kaiser Foundation. A 2011 French study found that diabetics taking Actos were 22% more likely to develop bladder cancer than diabetics not taking Actos, and a 2012 British study claims that taking Actos increases the risk of bladder cancer by 83%.

Actos has been banned in France, Germany, and India due to the associated health risks. Takeda added a warning label to the drug in 2011, but by that point, Actos had been on the market for over 10 years, and many people had already been exposed to the potential dangers.

Cristophe Weber, the CEO of Takeda, refused to comment on the recent Actos settlement, but made the following comment about the drug in a recent article on Bloomberg: “Takeda always had the same position. We believe that Actos provides the right benefit risk ratio for patients, is still a good medicine for patients.”

The $2.2 billion settlement has not been finalized. Talks are still in progress. This proposed settlement would only apply to those who have already filed suit against Takeda for failure to warn against the dangers associated with Actos.

Over 3,500 Actos suits have been consolidated within the Louisiana court system; approximately 4,500 other cases are ongoing in Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, and West Virginia.

Joseph Genovesi is President of RD Legal Funding, LLC, a leading provider of post-settlement attorney advances. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.

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