Takeda Decides to Settle Actos Lawsuits
Takeda said last week it will pay up to $2.4 billion to settle the majority of U.S. lawsuits involving its diabetes drug Actos, which has been linked to cancer.
If 95 percent of the 9,000 litigants opt into the deal, Takeda will pay $2.37 billion. That figure will rise to $2.4 billion if 97 percent or more agree to participate. The settlement amounts to roughly $300,000 for each of the claimants.
While $2.4 billion may seem like a lot of money, Takeda wants to avoid potentially paying far more, says Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Judgments ranging from $1 million to $3 million per case could push the total to $10 billion to $20 billion.
Additionally, Takeda could face potentially huge punitive damages over allegations it hid cancer risks from doctors and patients, going so far as to destroy evidence, Gordon says.
Last year, a federal jury ordered Takeda and Eli Lilly to pay $9 billion to one plaintiff who alleged the companies failed to warn patients about Actos’ (pioglitazone) cancer risks. However, an appellate judge later slashed the amount to $36.8 million in damages — $27.6 million for Takeda and $9.2 million for Lilly.
Despite the proposed settlement, Takeda says it remains committed to Actos. The drugmaker called the claims meritless and said it does not admit liability.
Actos continues to be available in the U.S. — Jonathon Shacat