A jury awarded a couple $9 billion in punitive damages from drug manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals and its U.S. distribution partner Eli Lilly. The jury also awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages to the patient, Terrance Allen, who successfully argued Actos caused him to develop bladder cancer.
The $9 billion is the largest ever punitive damages verdict against a pharmaceutical company. Punitive damages are intended to punish a company for what the jury sees as willful wrongdoing. Allen argued in his Actos lawsuit that Takeda knew the type 2 diabetes drug was likely to increase the risks of bladder cancer, but did not warn patients or doctors.
In 2011, a 5-year study found that patients who used Actos to treat type 2 diabetes were 40% more likely to develop bladder cancer within one year than patients on alternative medications. Takeda is facing thousands of Actos bladder cancer lawsuits from patients who were injured by the drug.