Another Actos lawsuit reaches a jury for weary Takeda

Another jury in another U.S. trial over Takeda Pharmaceutical and its Actos (pioglitazone) diabetes drug has begun deliberating whether the drug was responsible for causing cancer. Lawyers for both sides completed closing arguments in the Pennsylvania trial.

Takeda faces 4,500 suits in several states and another 3,500 that were consolidated for a federal court in Louisiana. Several suits have been completed, with outcomes that collectively have assessed at least $46.2 million against Takeda for damages, according to a Bloomberg count.

The case, Kristufek v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, was brought by a school teacher who blamed Actos for his bladder cancer that cost him $318,000 in medical bills. As in previous cases, John Kristufek's lawyer argued that Takeda knew about the side effect as early as 2004, but left it on the global market for at least seven more years, earning Takeda $4.5 billion in fiscal year 2011 alone.

As Takeda attorneys have argued in the other cases, in this one he also argued there has never been proof that Actos was associated with bladder cancer. Takeda's Pennsylvania defender noted that Kristufek had been a 20-year smoker when he contracted the disease.

- read the Bloomberg take