Lawyers for the family of Diep An told a Baltimore jury that drug giant Takeda’s failure to tell the whole truth about Actos role in the increased risk of cancer was the cause of death, as opening statements got under way. This case will provide further insight into how a jury views Takeda’s role in the Actos controversy as more than 3,000 cases await trial in the United States.
Plaintiffs are expected to claim as did the Plaintiffs in Cooper vs. Takeda, that the drug giant knew of the increased risk of bladder cancer long before it provided warnings, and that Actos is the cause of death of Diep An, who began taking Actos in 2007 and was diagnosed with bladder cancer in September 2011. On April 26, 2013, a Los Angeles jury heard similar evidence and found against Takeda and assessed damages at $6.5 million (Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., CGC-12-518535, California Superior Court, Los Angeles). However, trial Judge Kenneth Freeman overturned the verdict and the case is on its way through the appeal process.
Judge Freeman granted Takeda’s motion to exclude the opinions of Plaintiff’s causation expert Dr. Norm Smith, a professor of surgery and urology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, that Actos was a substantial factor in specifically causing Mr. Cooper’s bladder cancer. With no opinion to support that finding remaining in the case, the Court then granted Takeda’s motion for non-suit, throwing out the verdict. The basis of this ruling will be a crucial focus on appeal.
Takeda denies any role of Actos in causation and maintains the warnings were adequate. Before it went off patent in 2012, Actos was Takeda’s top-selling drug with sales peaking at $4.3 billion.
Studies Demonstrate Dangers of Actos
A European study by the French Medicines Agency found a 22 percent higher risk of bladder cancer in approximately 155,000 patients taking Actos from 2006 to 2009, compared to 1.3 million patients not taking the drug. The risk was highest in patients taking a cumulative Actos dose of 28,000 mg or more during the study period. Authorities responded to the evidence of bladder cancer risk by recalling Actos in France and Germany.
In September 2010, the FDA ordered a safety review of Actos. In June 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a drug safety alert warning that the use of Actos for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. In August 2011, a report by eHealthMe based on FDA reports and the user community stated that of 22,512 people reporting side effects, 50 (0.22%) had bladder cancer. A May 2011 study of a half million diabetes drug Adverse Event reports to the FDA between 2004 and 2009 suggested a “disproportionate risk” of bladder cancer in Actos patients, finding that of patients reporting bladder cancer, one-fifth of these were taking Actos. In April 2012, Health Canada, the government drug safety agency for Canada, issued a safety warning on Actos.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bladder cancer and took the diabetes drug Actos, you may have a claim for your injuries. The Thomas J. Brandi and the Brandi Law Firm are leaders in nationwide pharmaceutical litigation for decades and is now representing clients who have suffered related to Actos use and filed suits on their behalf. For a free consultation call us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us.
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