US Jury Orders Japanese Drugmaker Takeda To Pay $6 Billion In Damages

| by Khier Casino

A U.S. federal jury has ordered Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. to pay $6 billion in punitive damages in a case claiming that cancer risks to the diabetes drug Actos were concealed, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer.

Eli Lilly and Co., Takeda’s co-defendant in the case, was ordered to pay $3 billion in punitive damages, Reuters reported.

“Takeda respectfully disagrees with the verdict and we intend to vigorously challenge this outcome through all available legal means, including possible post-trial motions and an appeal,” Kenneth Greisman, general counsel for Takeda’s U.S. unit, said in an e-mailed statement. “We also believe we demonstrated that Takeda acted responsibly with regard to Actos.”

Lilly, which co-promoted Actos from 1999 to 2006, said in a press release it will be indemnified by Takeda for losses and expenses around the litigation based on the terms of agreement with Takeda. It also intends to challenge the outcome of the case.

Takeda’s shares in Tokyo dropped 8.4 percent to 4,415 yen after the verdict was announced Tuesday.

Lilly shares dropped .2 percent, or 12 cents per share, to $58.50 per share in New York Stock Exchange trading.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Mark Lanier, said there was “stunned silence” in the packed courtroom following the announcement of the damages.

Lanier acknowledged it was not certain whether the damages award would be sustained as legal process continues.

"Nobody has gone out and bought a new home," Lanier told Reuters.

"This is a conservative judge and a conservative court and she's very 'balls and strikes.' We're not under any grand illusion."

The jury in Lafayette, La., also ordered the payment of $1.475 million to compensate for damages in the suit.

According to Reuters, the case is In Re: Actos Products Liability Litigation Case U.S. District Court, Western District Louisiana, No. 6:11-md-2299.