Pharmaceutical

BA lawyer appointed to help manage Actos bladder cancer litigation

Nineteen plaintiffs attorneys, including Beasley Allen attorney Andy Birchfield, have been appointed to manage litigation involving claims that Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co.’s type 2 diabetes drug Actos causes bladder cancer. Takeda, Asia’s largest drug maker, may face as many as 10,000 bladder cancer claims with Actos after a study showed that use the drug put users at risk for the disease. Federal lawsuits against Takeda were previously consolidated before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty in Lafayette, Louisiana. The first hearing is set for March 22.

The lawsuits allege patients who used Actos are at an increased risk for developing bladder cancer, and that Takeda and co-defendant Eli Lilly & Co. withheld information about the risk and failed to adequately warn users.

Last year, drug regulators in Germany and France pulled the drug off the market because of the cancer risk, but the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opted to keep the drug on the market but issue a warning that using the drug, especially long term, increased one’s chance of bladder cancer.

Actos had worldwide sales of $4.8 billion in its last fiscal year. The drug makes up about 27 percent of the Japan-based company’s revenue.

Beasley Allen lawyer Andy Birchfield manages the firm’s Mass Torts Section, and is recognized for helping negotiate the $4.85 billion Vioxx settlement on behalf of thousands of clients.

Source: Bloomberg