Takeda will do everything to bring omontys back to the market...
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (4502), Asia’s biggest drugmaker, put sales ahead of safety by failing to warn consumers about its Actos diabetes medicine’s cancer risks, a lawyer argued in the second case over the drug to go to trial.
Officials of Osaka, Japan-based Takeda knew by 2005 at the latest that studies had shown links between Actos and cancer, and didn’t issue a warning until six years later, Stuart Simms, a lawyer for the family of Diep An, told a jury yesterday in state court in Baltimore. An’s family blames Actos for the Vietnamese immigrant’s bladder-cancer death last year.
Takeda executives “knew the value of the drug and they knew the risks” Actos posed and they opted not to adequately warn An or his doctors, Simms told jurors in opening arguments of the trial of the family’s suit against Takeda. The delay in issuing the warning allowed the company to push ahead with efforts to “sell, sell, sell” Actos, he said.
The case is the second of more than 3,000 suits over Actos to come to trial. A California jury ordered Takeda to pay $6.5 million in damages to a diabetic who blamed the drug for his bladder cancer. The judge in the case later threw out the verdict. That ruling is on appeal.
Takeda contends An’s bladder cancer wasn’t caused by Actos and the company properly warned consumers about the drug’s risks. The drug was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and hasn’t been taken off the market, Craig Thompson, one of the company’s lawyers, said in his opening argument.
Thompson urged jurors to “continue to ask yourself what the rest of the story is” when they hear evidence about the company’s handling of Actos.
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.
Former Actos users contend in court filings that Takeda researchers ignored or downplayed concerns about the drug’s cancer-causing potential be