September 25, 2013

162017_132140396847214_292624_nThe Maryland wrongful death jury trial against the manufacturer of the diabetes drug Actos that began on September 3, 2013 in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City (only the second state Actos case to go to trial in the United States) is expected to conclude late next week yet it has resulted in some heated exchanges during the testimony of a former executive of the giant pharmaceutical company Takeda Pharmaceuticals (“Takeda”), the manufacturer of Actos.

During cross-examination by the attorney for the plaintiffs, a former Takeda executive testified regarding the $4 million severance he received when he left Takeda and the stock options and $150,000 bonus he received when he joined Takeda (the former executive was the president of Takeda’s global research and development department from 2004 to 2007 and is now a paid consultant for Takeda and other drug companies). He acknowledged during his testimony that he was being paid $600 per hour for his “expert” services to Takeda in the Maryland Actos wrongful-death lawsuit.

The plaintiffs’ attorney insinuated that the former Takeda executive had a financial interest in the outcome of the Actos lawsuits against Takeda because his financial interests were tied to Takeda’s financial interests. The former executive testified that the purpose of the confidentiality agreement between him and Takeda when he left Takeda was not intended to buy his silence in the Actos cases but rather to insure that he did not disclose Takeda’s proprietary and confidential information to drug company competitors after he left Takeda.

The former Takeda executive testified on behalf of Takeda that in his opinion, there is no reasonable evidence of a causal association between Actos and bladder cancer (the FDA released a safety advisory on June 15, 2011 warning that the use of Actos for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer; both Germany and France stopped the distribution of Actos in their respective countries that same month due to the alleged link between Actos and bladder cancer). Takeda’s former executive testified that studies dating back to 2005 that purportedly linked the use of Actos to an increased risk of bladder cancer were not statistically significant and that some of the tests were done on animals and not humans.

In the Maryland Actos wrongful death case, the plaintiffs allege that a Maryland man, who was a diabetic, began taking Actos and was subsequently diagnosed with bladder cancer that led to his death on January 14, 2012.  The plaintiffs are seeking $10 million in damages from Takeda, alleging that Takeda failed to warn the man about the bladder cancer risk. The Maryland Actos case is one of more than 1,000 Actos cases that have been filed against Takeda throughout the United States (there are at least three other Actos cases filed in Maryland state and federal courts).

Source: The Daily Record, September 20, 2013.

If you or a family member may have suffered serious injuries or other harms as a result of taking Actos or another drug in the United States, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state who handles drug claims to investigate your possible claim for you and to represent you in filing a drug injury claim, if appropriate.

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