Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Japan’s largest drugmaker, has offered more than $2.2 billion to settle more than 8,000 pending lawsuits involving its diabetes drug Actos, which has been linked to thousands of cases of bladder cancer. It would be one of the largest U.S. settlements of lawsuits targeting drugs or medical devices, according to Bloomberg. The proposed settlement would amount to about $275,000 for each case.
We’ve been following Actos litigation for about 3 years now. Last year, a federal jury in Louisiana ordered Takeda Pharmaceutical and Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co to pay a combined $9 billion to a shopkeeper who took Actos from 2004 to 2011, when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. According to Allen’s suit, Takeda had clinical evidence about the risk of bladder cancer in the early 2000s, but did not warn physicians or the public until 2011. One of the key issues in the trial was the fact that Takeda allegedly destroyed files compiled by 46 Takeda employees, including two directors. A judge later reduced the award to $36.8 million.
Eli Lilly was Takeda’s U.S. partner in selling and manufacturing Actos beginning in 2009. The partnership ended in 2006, but Lilly retained rights to sell Actos in Canada and Mexico, as well as parts of Asia and Europe.