TOKYO, Sept. 4 (Kyodo) — Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. said Thursday it has been ordered by a U.S. district court to pay $6 billion in punitive damages over a lawsuit filed by a man who claimed his bladder cancer was caused by Takeda’s diabetes medicine Actos.
The ruling is in line with a U.S. jury order issued in April. The district court in Louisiana also told Japan’s top-ranked drugmaker to pay $1.27 million in compensatory damages.
Takeda plans to counter the move through legal means, including the option of appealing to a higher court, company officials said. In June, the company asked the court to redo the trial, or reduce the compensation payments.
The plaintiff in the case is from New York. He said his bladder cancer was caused by the medicine and Takeda failed to provide adequate information about the risks. The ruling suggests the court supported the argument.
Kenneth Greisman, senior vice president of Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. Inc., said in a statement, “We respectfully disagree with the judgment and await a ruling on our motion for a new trial, or alternatively, a significantly reduced punitive damage award.”
The court also ordered Takeda’s sales business partner Eli Lilly and Co. in the United States to pay $3 billion.
Actos hit the market in 1999 and became Takeda’s leading product that saw sales reach over 2 trillion yen globally. The product was sold mostly in the United States.
According to Takeda, more than 6,000 Actos-related lawsuits have been filed as of mid-July in the United States.