2/19/2013 7:47:06 AM
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Asia’s biggest drugmaker, is facing its first trial of lawsuits alleging that its Actos diabetes drug caused cancer in some patients. Jack Cooper, a former cable splicer for Pacific Bell who took Actos for more than two years, contends officials of Takeda’s U.S. unit didn’t properly warn consumers that Actos could cause bladder cancer. Jury selection in Cooper’s case is slated to begin to today in state court in Los Angeles. Cooper, 69, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November 2011 and “is gravely ill,” Judge Kenneth Freeman said in an October ruling ordering an expedited trial of his claims. The trial comes a month after Osaka, Japan-based Takeda won U.S. regulatory approval for Nesina, a new diabetes drug to replace Actos, which lost patent protection last year. Actos was once the world’s biggest-selling diabetes drug. Sales of Actos peaked in the year ended March 2011 at $4.5 billion for Takeda and accounted for 27 percent of the company’s revenue at the time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Takeda is facing more than 3,000 suits alleging Actos caused bladder cancer or other ailments among patients, according to court records. Cooper’s suit is among the cases that have been gathered before Freeman in California. There are other cases in state court in Illinois, according to court dockets. Case Consolidation: More than 1,200 suits have been consolidated before a federal judge in Louisiana for pretrial information exchanges. The first federal case is set for trial in November 2014, according to court filings. Takeda officials defended the company’s handling of Actos by noting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found it to be a safe and effective drug and arguing there’s no proof that it causes bladder cancer.
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