Great news for folks injured by Actos diabetes drug and who have filed personal injury lawsuits. As most people know the first federal Actos trial has started on Monday February 3rd. The jury has been picked and is ready to go into a marathon trial expected to last several weeks.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., the manufacturer of the type 2 diabetic drug, Actos, must let a jury hear claims that it intentionally destroyed files related its Actos diabetes drug. The federal judge overseeing the trial has made this ruling, to allow this evidence and jury instruction, know as a Spoliation of Evidence. The jury is allowed to infer that the destroyed documents were damaging to the company.
Takeda Allegedly Intentionally Destroyed Key Documents
U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty said, Takeda admitted they can’t find files compiled by 46 current and former employees involved with the development, marketing and sale of Actos, including those of two directors. Some files were deleted from company computers after executives warned employees to retain Actos-related material.
“The breadth of Takeda leadership whose files have been lost, deleted or destroyed is, in and of itself, disturbing,” Doherty wrote in a January 27 court filing.
Takeda Under Fire
Takeda, Asia’s largest drugmaker, is preparing for the federal-court trial in Lafayette, Louisiana, about a month after it scrapped development of another diabetes drug when research linked it to liver damage.
To punish the company, the judge will let lawyers for an Actos user suing Takeda over his bladder cancer tell jurors about the document destruction at his trial. The judge stopped short of awarding the plaintiff a default judgment over his case, stating that was too severe of a punishment.
Takeda Downplayed Actos Bladder Cancer Concerns
Plaintiffs allege that Takeda researchers ignored or downplayed concerns about the drug’s cancer-causing potential before it went on sale in the U.S. and misled FDA regulators about its risks.
Actos Blockbuster Drug
Sales of Actos peaked in the year ended March 2011 at $4.5 billion and accounted for 27 percent of Takeda’s revenue at the time, according to Bloomberg.
Actos has generated more than $16 billion in sales since its 1999 release, according to court filings.
Federal Court MDL
The consolidated Actos cases in Louisiana are In Re Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation, 11-md-02299, U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana (Lafayette). Allen’s case is Allen v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc., 12-cv-00064, U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana (Lafayette).