Takeda crosses Actos settlement threshold as 96% of plaintiffs seek resolution

Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical has crossed a threshold for the settlement of thousands of lawsuits tied to bladder cancer risks from its diabetes drug Actos, triggering a payment of more than $2 billion, the company said in a release.

There had been concern last month that some plaintiffs wanted more than average promised payout of $250,000, with only 75% on board, which led the company to extend the offer by a month.

However, last week, the company said "more than 96% of eligible claimants have opted into the Actos (pioglitazone) product liability resolution program."

Takeda CEO Christophe Weber

The settlement was announced in April. In August, the company submitted a second post-marketing study to regulators in the United States, Europe and Japan that it said shows no increased risk of bladder cancer in patients treated with Actos (pioglitazone) in a key milestone following its decision to settle thousands of lawsuits related to the diabetes drug.

The total settlement could reach $2.4 billion, Takeda said, adding dividend payments would continue.

"Per the resolution program, a 95% participation or greater triggers a $2.37 billion dollar payment by Takeda into a settlement fund," the company said in the release. "However, that figure will rise to $2.4 billion if after a review of the claims submissions it is determined that 97 percent or more of them meet the settlement criteria. The settlement would not affect Takeda's ability to pay dividends."

The settlement resolves 7 of the 9 previously tried Actos product liability cases that are now in appeals, the company said, adding the agreement does not "change the company's continued commitment to Actos."

"Actos continues to be available as a treatment option in the U.S. and other countries," the release said. "In fact, pioglitazone has been approved for use in 95 countries, including the U.S., Japan, several in Europe, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Russia, to highlight a few."

- here's the release