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Takeda, Eli Lilly Ordered by U.S. Jury to Pay $9 Billion

A U.S. jury in Lafayette, Louisiana, has ordered Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical to pay $6 billion and co-defendant Eli Lilly, $3 billion in punitive damages over claims the drug makers did not fairly disclose cancer risks associated with the diabetes drug Actos. The jury also ordered the payment of $1.475 million in compensatory damages.

Takeda, which is Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company, said it did not agree with the verdict and would challenge it through all options open to it including post trial motions and appeals. Following the verdict, Takeda’s shares hit an eight-month low and their biggest drop in five years.

However, people remain skeptic about whether the verdict would withstand legal challenges as last May a federal judge had nullified a separate jury verdict for $6.5 million against Takeda after holding that the plaintiffs had failed to prove that Actos actually caused cancer.

Surprisingly, the jury took only about an hour and 10 minutes to deliberate on the 14 questions before them to decide liability, and then took about 45 minutes to decide the multibillion dollar order for damages.



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Both Takeda and Eli Lilly are facing numerous other lawsuits over Actos, which is used to treat type-two diabetes, and which plaintiffs allege, causes bladder cancer.

Kenneth Greisman, a general counsel at Takeda said in a statement, “Takeda respectfully disagrees with the verdict, and we intend to vigorously challenge this outcome through all available legal means, including possible post-trial motions and an appeal.”

As early as 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had published a drug safety update on Actos observing that using Actos for longer than a year increased the risks of incurring bladder cancer by about 40 percent. Even though Actos has been sold in the market from 1999, the FDA mandated inclusion of cancer risks on the drug’s warning label only after the 2011 update.

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