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Takeda Suits on Actos Diabetes Drug Combined in One Louisiana Court

January 1, 2012
By

Lawsuits against Takeda
Pharmaceutical Co. (4502)
, Asia’s biggest drugmaker, claiming its Actos
diabetes drug causes bladder cancer will be consolidated before
one judge in federal court in Louisiana, a judicial panel said.

The federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation sent
the lawsuits to the Western District of Louisiana, in Lafayette,
to be overseen by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty. Doherty
will coordinate pretrial proceedings, including evidence-
gathering.

“Centralization in the Western District of Louisiana will
serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote
the just and efficient conduct of this litigation,” the panel
ruled yesterday. It will also allow “the panel to assign the
litigation to an experienced judge who sits in a district in
which no other multidistrict litigation is pending.”

The lawsuits claim that patients who use Actos, a
prescription drug approved for the use in treating type 2
diabetes, increases the risk of bladder cancer. The plaintiffs
also claim that Takeda and co-defendant Indianapolis-based Eli
Lilly Co. (LLY)
withheld information about the risk and failed to
provide adequate warnings.

Sara Gourley, an attorney for Osaka, Japan-based Takeda,
didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

The company said in a September filing that 54 federal
lawsuits had been filed by then. Dozens more suits have been
added in federal court since, according to court records.

More Patients

Several thousand patients have contacted plaintiffs lawyers
about filing such suits, Paul J. Pennock, a New York-based
lawyer representing former users of the drug, said in an
interview last month.

U.S. regulators found in June that an analysis of a Takeda-
sponsored study showed some users of Actos, the world’s best-
selling diabetes medication, faced an increased risk of
developing the potentially fatal disease. The federal lawsuits
were all filed in July or later, the federal panel said in
yesterday’s ruling.

Takeda officials this year pulled Actos, its top-selling
drug, off the market in Germany and France after it was linked
to an increased cancer risk.

Takeda had asked the panel to consolidate the cases in the
Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, near the headquarters
of five of the company’s units, or the Louisiana court as an
alternative. Lawyers for plaintiffs disagreed on the choice of
venue, proposing six other courts as well as those in Chicago
and Lafayette.

The lawsuits are consolidated in In Re: Actos Products
Liability Litigation, MDL 2299, U.S. District Court, Western
District of Louisiana (Lafayette).

To contact the reporters on this story:
Margaret Cronin Fisk in Detroit
at mcfisk@bloomberg.net;
Jef Feeley in Wilmington, Delaware,
at jfeeley@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

<!—->

Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-31/takeda-suits-on-actos-diabetes-drug-combined-in-one-louisiana-court.html

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