Documents updated today show that 2,750 lawsuits are now pending in the multidistrict litigation involving Actos, which is currently being heard inU.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana. By anyone’s estimation, that’s a huge number of cases - and a sign of just how large an impact Takeda Pharmaceutical has had on patients’ lives.
With thousands of cases pending, the stakes are pretty high.
The latest news from the court is good. A status conference held on December 11 revealed that a new bellwether has begun in the Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada for Clarks County. The plaintiff in the case reportedly began taking Actos before bladder cancer warnings were added to the drug’s label in 2011. Actos was subject to an FDA warning on June 15, 2011 after medical studies suggested a link between patients who took the drug for more than a year and an increased risk of bladder cancer. Lawsuits have since followed, accusing Takeda of developing and marketing a defective product, and not informing patients and doctors of the drug’s risks. The new trial is expected to begin before the New Year(Case No. A-12-665708-C).
Actos lawsuits have had mixed success this year. In April, a jury in Los Angeles awarded more than $6 million to a plaintiff who developed bladder cancer after taking Actos for four years; however, Takeda’s request that the judge set aside (overrule) the verdict was granted. The plaintiff is now appealing that decision in California Superior Court. A second trial in Maryland State Court saw a jury award $1.7 million to the family of a patient who died of bladder cancer after using Actos – before the presiding judge tossed the verdict. The plaintiff in the case had smoked for decades before his illness, and the jury had ruled that this was a contributing factor. Because of this, the verdict was overturned.
So, what will be the fate of the third case? That remains to be seen – but with thousands of cases pending, the stakes are pretty high.
Have you taken Actos or know someone who has? Join the conversation in the comments section below.