Takeda Pharmaceutical (4502) Co. and Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) were ordered to pay a combined $9 billion in punitive damages after a jury in a first such federal trial in U.S. found they hid the cancer risks of their Actos diabetes medicine.
Takeda, based in Osaka, Japan, was ordered to pay $6 billion by the jury today in Lafayette, Louisiana. Its shares fell as much as 7 percent in Tokyo, headed for the biggest decline since March 2009, before trading 5.7 percent lower at 4,545 yen after the verdict, the seventh-largest in U.S. history. Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly, Takeda’s partner, was ordered to pay $3 billion.
“I hope Takeda executives in Japan heard what this jury had to say loudly and clearly,” Mark Lanier, a lawyer for former Actos user Terrence Allen, said after the verdict. The jury earlier awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages to Allen, who blamed the drug for his cancer.
Takeda, Asia’s largest drugmaker, faces the Actos claims after it scrapped development of another diabetes drug this year when research linked it to liver damage. More than 2,700 Actos suits have been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty in Louisiana for pretrial information exchanges, according to court dockets.
The Louisiana jury is the fourth panel to have weighed allegations that Osaka-based Takeda marketed Actos knowing it could cause cancer and failed to properly warn doctors and consumers about the risks. Last year, state juries in California and Maryland ordered Takeda to pay a total of $8.2 million in damages to former Actos users. Judges in both states threw out the verdicts. Jurors this year in state court in Las Vegas rejected claims the company failed to properly warn consumers about the risks of Actos.
The consolidated Actos cases in Louisiana are In Re Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation, 11-md-02299. Allen’s case is Allen v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc., 12-cv-00064, both in U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana (Lafayette).
To contact the reporter on this story: Jef Feeley in federal court in Lafayette,Louisiana, at
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha email@example.com Douglas Wong