On April 8, 2014, a federal jury in Lafayette, Louisiana ordered the Japanese manufacturer Takedo Pharmaceutical Company and its U.S. partner, Eli Lilly & Company, to pay a combined total of $9 billon in punitive damages after concluding that they knew and did not properly warn about an increased risk of bladder cancer when using the drug Actos. The jury also awarded approximately $1.5 million in compensatory damages. It is likely that the punitive damages award could be cut due to U.S. Supreme Court precedent, but the verdict is nevertheless a significant development in holding manufacturers responsible for not properly warning the medical community and the general public of the full risks associated with drugs they produce.
Actos, an oral diabetes medication, has been on the market since 1999 and has included an FDA black box warning about congestive heart failure. In 2011 the FDA issued a safety alert and required a label change regarding the increased risk of bladder cancer.
Juries have found in favor of other cancer victims prior to this case, but those verdicts have been thrown out for various reasons. The Louisiana verdict confirms that perseverance by injured victims and the law firms representing them can and will hold manufacturers accountable for failing to disclose all of the information that they should so that doctors and patients can make informed decisions.
If you or a family member have been diagnosed with bladder cancer and have used Actos, please contact us for a free evaluation of your case. In conjunction with a network of attorneys, we will work closely with you to see that you are justly compensated if you have been harmed.