Takeda looks to settle thousands of Actos U.S. lawsuits for $2B

Takeda Pharmaceutical has offered $2.2 billion to settle all U.S. claims linked to its diabetes drug Actos as it battles thousands of cases and stretches legal resources even with some verdicts favorable, a report said April 1.

Citing three people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News said the firm has offered to settle more than 8,000 lawsuits alleging it concealed the medicine's cancer risks.

The proposal would amount to a payment of about $275,000 for each case, the report said, adding that a final deal has not yet been reached.

Last year a federal jury in Louisiana ordered Takeda and U.S.-based Eli Lilly & Co. ($LLY) to pay a combined $9 billion in damages to a patient who said Actos had caused his bladder cancer. A judge later cut the payout to $36.8 million.

Takeda has faced at least 9 trials since 2013 over claims it tried to cover up Actos' cancer risks, including the Louisiana trial.

The company won three cases and some other damage awards have been quashed or are being appealed.

But 5 juries have found the company liable for patient injuries. A Tokyo-based spokesman for Takeda declined to discuss the lawsuits or comment on Wednesday's report.

Actos sales peaked in March 2011 at $4.5 billion and accounted for more than one-quarter of Takeda's revenue at the time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Eli Lilly was Takeda's U.S. marketing and sales partner until 2006, with the U.S. firm keeping the rights to sell Actos in parts of Asia and Europe as well as in Canada and Mexico.

- here's the story from Bloomberg