Huge Plaintiffs’ Victory Seen In First Actos® Trial

Commenting on a $6.5 million dollar verdict reached this past Friday in a Los Angeles courtroom against Takeda Pharmaceuticals for injuries arising from the plaintiffs’ ingestion of Takeda’s blockbuster selling diabetes drug, Actos®, Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP Senior Partner Hunter Shkolnik described the verdict as “a disaster for Takeda”. In the California trial, a jury found that in marketing Actos®, which has been linked to bladder cancer, Takeda had “failed to adequately warn” physicians about Actos’ bladder cancer risk and that this failure was “a substantial factor” in causing injuries that may lead to the death of the plaintiff, a California man. Jurors awarded $5 million in compensatory damages to the patient and $1.5 million to his wife.

Losing the first of more than 3,000 Actos® suits that are slated for trial “is devastating to the company,” said Shkolnik, a New York-based attorney for former Actos users, on Friday. “Takeda will be facing back-to-back trials of far stronger cases next year,” Shkolnik said. Shkolnik and Marc Jay Bern , both Senior Partners of nationally-known plaintiffs’ injury firm Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP, are lead trial attorneys in the first trials that are scheduled to commence in Chicago within the next year. The firm’s partners have been part of a small team of lawyers spearheading the efforts against Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Cook County where there are currently in excess of 2000 Actos® bladder cancer claims on file. The litigation has been moving aggressively forward under the team’s supervision.

Actos® (pioglitazone) is a treatment for type 2 diabetes. Available only by prescription, pioglitazone is in a class of medications called thiazolidinediones, which work in the body to balance blood sugar by increasing cells’ receptiveness to insulin. Patients may have taken this drug under the brand name Actos® or under other brand names such as Actoplus Met® (a combination of pioglitazone and metformin) or Duetact® (pioglitazone and glimepiride).

More than two million Americans with type 2 diabetes take Actos® and many are increasingly concerned about its potential side effects. Actos® is the most prescribed medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, generating 3.4 billion in sales in 2009. Recent studies have shown a link between this medication and bladder cancer.

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About the author

Randy is an Associate Editor covering property news.