Kelly Anthony, Esq., Assistant General Counsel
Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Limited, together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., have agreed to pay $2.4 billion to resolve thousands of product liability lawsuits pending in the U.S. involving allegations that the companies’ prescription diabetes drug, Actos, caused cancer.
The settlement, announced by Takeda on April 29, 2015, will only become effective if 95 percent of current litigants opt into the agreement. According to the company, once that threshold is met, Takeda will pay $2.37 billion into a settlement fund. If 97 percent or more of current litigants decide to participate in the agreement, then Takeda stated it would increase the settlement fund to $2.4 billion.
In the announcement, Japan’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer asserted that its desire to settle the claims against it was, in part, to reduce financial uncertainties for the company. As such, the company declared that it would take a $2.7 billion charge against its earnings in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014 to cover the settlement, as well as any costs associated with defending remaining Actos-related claims.
Despite agreeing to pay $2.4 billion to plaintiffs, Takeda has not admitted liability for its alleged failure to warn consumers of the risks associated with Actos. Further, the drug continues to be available as a treatment option for diabetes in the U.S., Japan and other countries.
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