Drugmakers Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and Eli Lilly & Co. were ordered to pay a total of $9 billion in punitive damages after a Louisiana jury decided the companies did not disclose cancer risks of their diabetes medicine Actos.
Japan-based Takeda said Tuesday that it was ordered to pay $6 billion in punitive damage, and Eli Lilly, which helped promote the drug, was ordered to pay $3 billion. The jury also awarded the plaintiffs nearly $1.5 million in compensatory damages.
Takeda was accused in the suit of failing to warn users of the medication that research had linked Actos to increased risk of bladder cancer. In 2011, regulators in France and Germany suspended sales of Actos over concerns of cancer risks. The company is also facing another 2,700 Actos lawsuits that have already been filed, according to data compiled by one law firm.
Actos was once a huge seller for Takeda, which raked in billions from the diabetes drug before the patent expired in 2011. Since then the company has faced generic competition and scrambled to find other sources of revenue.
Takeda said it disagreed with the verdict and planned to fight the award.
"We intend to vigorously challenge this outcome through all available means, including possible post-trial motions and an appeal," said Kenneth D. Greisman, general counsel for Takeda, in a statement.
Shares of Takeda tumbled tumbled about $2.44, or 5.2%, to $44.78 on Tuesday on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Shares of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly were down 19 cents to $58.81 on Tuesday morning.
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