Takeda Pharmaceutical agrees to settlement concerning diabetes drug Actos
On Tuesday April 28, Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical agreed to a $2.4 billion settlement involving thousands of lawsuits from patients and their family members claiming that the company’s diabetes drug Actos was responsible for causing bladder cancer. Takeda stated that this settlement would resolve the majority of product-liability lawsuits linked to Actos, but a $2.7 billion charge against earnings will be necessary to cover the settlement and costs for defending the outstanding cases.
Takeda, however, did not admit liability. The company’s reason for settling was to “reduce the uncertainties of complex litigation,” and stated that the claims brought forth in the lawsuit were without merit. Takeda also added that Actos’ benefits offset any risks caused by the drug, which is sold in the United States and other countries.
Both Actos and GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia are in the same class of drugs for Type 2 diabetes, and concerns dating back to 2007 that Avandia may lead to an increased risk of heart attacks boosted the sales of Actos. In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration added a warning to Actos’ label regarding the increased risk of bladder cancer, as high as 40 percent, when using the drug for two years or more.
Richard J. Arsenault, one of the plaintiff lawyers, released the following statement after an agreement between the two sides was reached. “We are pleased that Takeda has agreed to provide $2.4 billion to compensate thousands of deserving bladder cancer victims. After years of hard-fought and contentious litigation, the defendants have finally stepped up to the plate, and we applaud that effort.” Ninety-five percent of the plaintiffs must agree to the settlement in order for it to stick, which will result in Takeda paying $2.37 billion. If 97 percent of the plaintiffs agree, however, the settlement rises to $2.4 billion. Either way, it is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s largest product-liability settlements.
About the Author
Jamie Balboni is the Property & Casualty Practice Leader at WGA. She is a Principal at the firm with over 25 years of experience in the insurance brokerage industry. Her primary focus includes life sciences and high technology clients, and she assists and guides clients on how to best mitigate risk while helping them to develop comprehensive insurance plans.