PHILADELPHIA — According to a recent story broken by Bloomberg, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited has proposed a $2.2 billion settlement to resolve lawsuits regarding its diabetes medication Actos and its potential role in causing patients to develop cancer. The multi-billion dollar offer would be in exchange for the settlement of over 8,000 similar lawsuits against Takeda and Eli Lilly & Company regarding Actos, and would work out to just over a quarter of a million dollars per case. The cases all allege similar injuries, especially that taking Actos resulted in the plaintiff developing bladder cancer. The cases also allege that Takeda and Eli Lilly marketed their diabetes drug while they hid its serious, known risks.
Although Takeda’s willingness to shell out billions of dollars to prevent further litigation and an eventual judgment is a good sign for all patients who have suffered adverse side effects after taking the diabetes drug, it is still difficult to tell how much such lawsuits should actually be worth, especially with such varying judgments in similar Actos trials. For example, a man who filed a lawsuit alleging that Actos had caused his bladder cancer was originally awarded $9 billion by a federal jury; however, the judge then lowered this amount to a comparatively low $36.8 million. Furthermore, a Wisconsin judge recently found ruled that there was not enough evidence to show that Takeda should be held liable for evidence spoliation in one of the Actos cases. Prior to that, however, a jury in Philadelphia found for a former Actos user who had been diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos for four years and awarded him $3.65 million in damages.
There is still no word yet of whether the $2.2 billion settlement offer will be accepted or if a portion will be accepted by some of the plaintiffs. Takeda has also stated that the settlement is only available to plaintiffs who have already retained a lawyer and filed a suit in order to prevent more people from filing suits just to obtain the settlement.
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