In 2003, Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc. expressed concerns about whether Actos users could develop cancer. These reservations on the part of the Japanese pharmaceutical company came to light in court documents filed in a California Superior Court in Los Angeles.
The internal documents reveal that Takeda Pharmaceuticals went so far as to survey doctors about whether a diabetes drug with a label warning about the risk of developing bladder cancer would prevent them from writing a prescription for the drug. After reviewing responses, Takeda Pharmaceuticals concluded that a bladder cancer warning on the Actos label would have a debilitating impact on Actos sales.
Undertaking such a measure is a clear illustration of Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ market-driven philosophy wherein profits far surpass consumer safety in matters of importance.
These internal Takeda documents were filed in the first Actos lawsuit to go to trial. The case is Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. According to a Bloomberg News report on the Actos trial, there are currently 3,000 Actos lawsuits pending across the country.
These Actos lawsuits including Takeda losing its Actos patent last year are certain to factor in to the company’s reliance on the diabetes drug to be a big moneymaker in 2013. In March 2011, Bloomberg recorded that Actos comprised 27 percent of Takeda’s revenue. Though, this high revenue trend will likely change as Actos has developed a tarnished reputation due to its link to bladder cancer.
In another revealing court filing, Takeda relayed special instructions to its U.S. sales representatives. Essentially, the internal document stated that if safety concerns are not raised, then do not reveal anything about the risk of bladder cancer, and instead, focus on selling the drug.
In response to these documents, a Takeda representative has stated that these documents have been taken out of context.
Lawyers at Carey Danis & Lowe have been paying close attention to the court proceedings in this first Actos lawsuit to go to trial. For those who have been injured by Actos, and especially Actos users who have developed Actos bladder cancer, Carey Danis & Lowe is currently accepting Actos claims, and offering free legal evaluations.