A Pennsylvania judge refused to overturn a $2 million verdict against Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc. involving claims that its type 2 diabetes drug Actos caused bladder cancer, and slapped the drug company with nearly $100,000 in additional damages for the delay.
Plaintiff Frances Wisniewski filed the lawsuit in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in July 2012 claiming she developed bladder cancer after taking Actos for seven years. In August 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Takeda to update the safety label of Actos to include warnings for bladder cancer risk in patients who used the drug for more than a year. Wisniewski claims her doctor took her off Actos after the drug’s label was updated.
On October 3, a jury found that Actos had substantially contributed to Wisniewski’s bladder cancer and awarded her more than $2 million in damages. Takeda, however, later filed a motion arguing Wisniewski’s claim was preempted by the FDA’s authority to dictate warning labels. The drug company also claimed that the plaintiff had other risk factors for bladder cancer, including a history of smoking and excessive weight. Defense attorneys argued that a new trial was warranted.
However, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Shelly Robins New rejected the motion, and slapped Takeda with additional damages, bringing Wisniewski’s total judgment to $2.14 million.
A second product liability lawsuit involving Actos bladder cancer claims is currently underway in Philadelphia. Closing arguments are expected to begin this week.
Source: Law 360