Takeda, the manufacturer of the diabetes drug Actos has been fighting claims that the drug’s active ingredient, pioglitazone is related to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Patients who have used the drug over a long period of time or who were exposed to maximum dosages are a higher risk. Because of the increased incidence in bladder cancer among patients taking Actos, there have been several thousand class-action lawsuits filed. One of those lawsuits resulted in a $6 billion award from an American jury, as Reuters reports.
Eli Lilly and Co, who are codefendants with Takeda, were ordered by a Louisiana jury on Monday to pay $3 billion in punitive damages. It also awarded patients $1.475 million in compensatory damages. Takeda was ordered by the Louisiana jury to pay a record $6 billion in damages.
Eli Lilly and Takeda have said that they would look to higher courts to appeal the verdict. Legal experts have said it is unlikely that such a large award will stand in the face of a challenge from the two corporations. From 1999 to 2006, Eli Lilly engaged in co-promotion from Actos with Takeda. Eli Lilly also said that as per its agreement with Takeda, it will be indemnified for its losses related to the expenses of the litigation.
The combined $9 billion in penalties against both Eli Lilly and Takeda are in excess of the $5 billion that Exxon was ordered to pay in the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the damages had been excessive. The company was ultimately ordered to pay just $500 million.
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