A jury in Las Vegas, Nevada has begun deliberating in the civil trial over whether Takeda’s diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) caused bladder cancer in two southern Nevada women. The women suing Takeda allege that the company knew about potential to cause bladder cancer, but failed to warn users. They are seeking a multi-billion dollar verdict, which is the largest in Nevada history.
According to the Associated Press, the women are asking for awards of $35 million and $25 million in compensatory damages. If the jury rules that they deserve compensatory damages, they Takeda may also be ordered to pay punitive damages in a separate phase.
Last month, a federal jury ordered Takeda and Eli Lilly to pay a total of $9 billion in punitive damages to a man who alleged Actos caused his baldder cancer. Court documents show that there are over 2,700 Actos lawsuits filed into the multidistrict litigation in Louisiana before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty.
Actos is a drug used to manage Type 2 diabetes. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999. In recent years, the drug has been the subject of thousands of lawsuits due to a growing body of research linking the drug to bladder cancer. In June 2011, the FDA warned that taking Actos for more than one year could significantly increase the risk of bladder cancer. At around the same time, the drug was suspended in France and Germany because of this risk.
Actos users are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer after taking the drug for two years, according to the findings of one study published in the British Medical Journal in May 2012. In July 2012, a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that Actos patients were at a 22 percent increased risk for bladder cancer.