What is the Status of the Bladder Cancer Litigation for Actos?
In April 2015, a global settlement was reached to resolve more than 8,000 Actos lawsuit over bladder cancer caused by the popular diabetes drug. The drug maker agreed to pay $2.4 billion to settle the litigation.
While this largely ended the litigation, individuals diagnosed with bladder cancer from Actos after the settlement, or whose statute of limmitations did not previously expire, may still have an opportunity to settle their Actos case or pursue a claim.
Concerns about the link between Actos and bladder cancer gained national attention when an Actos recall was issued in Germany and France. However, the FDA first began investigating the potential risk of bladder cancer from side effects of Actos in September 2010, and our lawyers have been reviewing potential cases since that time for individuals who may be entitled to financial compensation through Actos litigation.
On December 29, 2011, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that the Actos bladder cancer litigation pending in the federal court system will be centralized before Judge Rebecca F. Doherty in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. The cases were consolidated for pretrial proceedings and any early bellwether trials, which are often useful in facilitating a potential Actos settlement agreement.
The agreement to resolve the litigation over Actos came came after several juries returned multi-million dollar damage awards in individual cases that have gone to trial, including one case that resulted in a $9 billion award with punitive damages designed to punish the drug maker. Although the federal judge presiding over the litigation subsequently reduced the verdict to $37 million, she indicated that the case was an example of why the Supreme Court needs to update rules on what is considered excessive punitive damages in order to more effectively deter the type of bad behavior exhibited by Takeda surrounding Actos.
The $2.37 billion agreement was expected to provide an average payment of about $296,000 per case for individuals diagnosed with bladder cancer. However, the individual awards may be reduced based on the user’s age, exposure to other cancer-causing toxins and smoking history. The amount is set to rise to $2.4 billion if 97% of all eligible claimants participate.
In December 2016, the FDA required the drug makers to strengthen the bladder cancer warnings further, which many critics argue should have been added by the drug maker years earlier.