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$2 Million Verdict in Philadelphia State Court Actos® Case, Bloomberg Reports

Bloomberg reports that Takeda, the manufacturer of the diabetes medication Actos®, has been ordered by a Philadelphia jury to pay more than $2 Million in damages. The case was held in Philadelphia state court where jurors deliberated for more than five hours before finding that the manufacturers of Actos® failed to properly warn the plaintiff’s doctors about the increased risk of cancer associated with Actos®. The Pennsylvania case is Wisniewski v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., Case No. 120702272, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals is a Japanese-based company that makes the prescription drug pioglitazone under the trade name Actos®, which is a medication prescribed to control glucose (blood sugar) in adults with Type 2 diabetes. The FDA approved Actos® in 1999. The drug subsequently became the world’s best-selling diabetes treatment with Actos® sales peaking between March 2010 and March 2011 at $4.5 billion, or 27 percent of Takeda revenue, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. Actos® has generated more than $16 billion in sales since its 1999 release, Bloomberg reports.

Prior to this Pennsylvania state court trial and verdict, there have been other trials in both state and federal court for lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of Actos®, including the following:

  • In May 2013, a Plaintiff was awarded $6.5 million in damages ($5 million in compensatory damages and $1.5 million for loss of consortium) after a California state court jury found Actos® caused the Plaintiff’s bladder cancer. However, the judge later threw out the jury award based on an issue involving one of plaintiff’s expert witnesses.
  • In September 2013, a Maryland state court jury awarded plaintiff $1.7 in damages. The judge subsequently overturned the verdict based on Maryland’s contributory negligence law. The court determined that the Plaintiff’s 30-year history as a smoker was a substantial factor in causing the Plaintiff’s bladder cancer.
  • In December 2013, a Nevada federal court jury followed suit in handing down a verdict in favor of Takeda. The jury found that the Plaintiff’s smoking history contributed to Plaintiff’s bladder cancer and that her purchases of generics raised causation issues.
  • On April 7, 2014, two plaintiffs were awarded $1.475 million in compensatory damages. The Louisiana jury sitting in the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) also rendered a $9 billion verdict for punitive damages. The jury found that Takeda “failed to adequately warn” about the risks of Actos® and that the company “acted with wanton and reckless disregard” for the patients’ safety.
  • In May 2014, a Cook County, Illinois 12-member state court jury ruled in favor of Takeda on plaintiff’s failure to warn claim.  The jury found that the Plaintiff’s smoking history contributed to Plaintiff’s bladder cancer and thus raised causation issues.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. The cases discussed do not predict outcomes in future cases. Past results afford no guarantee of future results and every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

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