Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Actos Verdict Against Drugmakers

Published on Apr 9, 2014 at 5:40 pm in Dangerous Drugs.

In a federal court in Louisiana this week, a jury found that the makers of the diabetes drug Actos concealed the cancer risks associated with the drug. In its historic verdict, the jury awarded the plaintiff – a New York man who claims his bladder cancer was caused by Actos – $1.5 million in compensatory damages.

Then came the real story – a whopping award of $9 billion in punitive damages ordered against the manufacturers. This amounted to $6 billion against Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and $3 billion against Eli Lilly, which co-marketed the drug. This large punitive damages award will likely be reduced on appeal, but the verdict remains a major victory, and a solid finding of intentional concealment by the drug makers.

Actos is the brand name of the prescription drug pioglitazone, which is taken to treat Type 2 diabetes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the drug in 1999. Then, in July 2011, the FDA issued a warning that the use of Actos for more than one year “may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.” This warning came from the results of an ongoing long-term study, which at the five year point, showed serious risks: users for more than a year had up to a 40% increased chance of developing the cancer. Studies in France also showed a cancer link.

While the FDA didn’t recall Actos, it released warnings to doctors for its use in patients with bladder cancer or a prior history of the cancer. Doctors were instructed to carefully weigh the benefits of Actos in treating diabetes against the potential cancer-causing risks.

In the Louisiana case, the plaintiff began taking Actos in 2006 and was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011. The evidence presented at trial showed experts knew that Actos had a link to bladder cancer seven years before Takeda issued any warnings about it.

Bloomberg news reports that lawyers for the plaintiff claimed in closing arguments that Takeda managers “made conscious decisions that amounted to reckless disregard” for the millions of consumers who took Actos. He also argued that the company “was more concerned about making money” than about alerting regulators and patients that side-effect reports showed some users developed cancerous tumors in their bladders.

Court filings showed that Actos has generated more than $16 billion in sales since its release in 1999. According to Bloomberg, Actos sales peaked in the year ended March 2011 at $4.5 billion; the drug accounted for 27% of Takeda’s revenue at the time. There is now a generic competitor made by Ranbaxy Laboratories.

Thomas Law Offices is currently handling cases involving individuals injured by defective and harmful drugs such as Actos.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

Two Nurses Arrested in Ohio for Nursing Home Resident Neglect

In April 2022, Sunrise Manor nursing home’s director of nursing and assistant nursing director were arrested for allegations of patient neglect. Christina Drake and Jennie Elliott are being investigated following a criminal complaint filed in regard to an incident that occurred in April 2020. The two nursing staff members are facing multiple first-degree misdemeanor charges, […]

Read More

What Injuries Do Unattended Children Most Commonly Suffer?

It is a tragedy when a child is killed or injured in an accident that could have been prevented. Most of the time, it only takes one attentive adult to stop these tragic incidents from happening. The personal injury lawyers at Thomas Law Offices look at what injuries unattended children most commonly suffer and⁠—more importantly—how […]

Read More

What Injuries Can Result From Slamming on the Brakes?

No matter how safely you may drive, you will undoubtedly encounter situations in which you will have to take significant evasive maneuvers to avoid a car accident. While avoiding a motor vehicle crash is virtually always preferable to a collision, there are times when the evasive action can also cause harm.

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
Tad Thomas on AVVO
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Tad Thomas on Attorney at Law Magazine
Tad Thomas on Attorney at Law Magazine
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion