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After agreeing to pay $2.4 billion in Actos settlements to resolve thousands of claims brought by former users of the diabetes drug diagnosed with bladder cancer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals agreed to settle two more claims this week, resolving a two-month trial in Nevada state court.
A tentative agreement was reached to settle an on-going Actos trial involving claims brought by George Decou and the family of Maurice Iorio, who died of bladder cancer in November 2013.
The settlement ends a trial that began in late August in Las Vegas, alleging that Takeda Phamaceuticals failed to adequately warn consumers and the medical community about the risk that side effects of Actos may increase the risk of bladder cancer.
More than 8,000 similar claims have been filed in state and federal courts nationwide by former users of Actos diagnosed with bladder cancer, and the drug maker announced last month that the required threshold of 95% was met to allow a previously reached Actos settlement to move forward, in which plaintiffs will receive an average payment of about $296,000 per case.
Actos (pioglitazone) was one of the most widely used type 2 diabetes drugs in the United States, until concerns emerged in 2010 about the potential link between Actos and bladder cancer.
In June 2011, the FDA required Takeda Pharmaceuticals to update the Actos warning label to add information about the bladder cancer risk, informing consumers that they may face an increased risk the longer the drug is used.
In lawsuits filed in state and federal courts throughout the United States, plaintiffs allege that Takeda knew about the risk of bladder cancer from Actos, but actively withheld the information in an attempt to minimize the impact on sales of their blockbuster treatment.
Prior to reaching the global settlement, Takeda Pharmaceuticals was hit with a groundbreaking $9 billion verdict in the first federal Actos trial, which went before a jury in April 2014. While that verdict was later reduced to $37 million by the U.S. District Judge presiding over the federal litigation, the judge suggested that the evidence presented against Takeda raises questions about whether the U.S. Supreme Court needs to update rules on what is considered excessive in order to effectively deter large corporations from engaging in the type of bad behavior exhibited surrounding Actos.
Decou and Iorio were pursing more than $2 billion in damages at the trial, arguing that Takeda concealed what they knew about Actos risks and “destroyed evidence on a massive scale in an attempt to avoid responsibility.” Details of the settlement have not been disclosed