Dangerous Drugs

Drugmakers Takeda and Lilly Lose Bid to Overturn $9 Billion Actos® Verdict

By on September 2, 2014 - Comments off

August 29, 2014 – A federal judge rejected a bid by top Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical and Eli Lilly & Co. on August 28 to throw out a $9 billion punitive damage award for hiding the cancer risks of their diabetes drug, Actos®.

The combined $9 billion award stems from a March 8 ruling when jurors found that Takeda and Lilly acted with “wanton and reckless disregard” in their promotion and marketing of Actos. The Court ordered Takeda to pay $6 billion of the award, and Lilly to pay $3 billion. Read the rest »

Posted in: Actos®


Study Links Viagra to Increased Risk of Melanoma Skin Cancer

By on April 17, 2014 - Comments off

A study published in April 2014 in the Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine (“JAMA”) linked the popular erectile dysfunction drug, Viagra, to an increased risk of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. The study analyzed data from more than 25,000 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and found that men who had recently used sildenafil had nearly twice the risk of developing melanoma (hazard ratio 1.84, CI 1.04 – 3.22) after adjusting for other risk factors including age, body mass index, smoking history, number of sunburns, mole counts, hair color, family history of melanoma, sun exposure, and use of other erectile dysfunction treatments. The study only found an increased risk of melanoma – it did not find an increased risk for more common, less dangerous types of skin cancer such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

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Posted in: Dangerous Drugs


DSM-V Study Exposes Possible Conflict of Interest between Pharmaceutical Companies and Review Members

By on January 30, 2014 - Comments off

According to a recent study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (1/22/14, “Tripartite Conflicts of Interest and High Stakes Patent Extensions in the DSM-5”, http://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/357499#abstract), panel members for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) may have financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) due to financial ties with pharmaceutical companies.

The DSM manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and serves as a diagnostic checklist for psychiatric disorders, many of which require pharmacological treatments. The APA instituted a disclosure policy requiring panel members to disclose drug industry ties, a positive step toward transparency. According to the study, “… findings suggest that there may be a risk of industry influence on the DSM revision process. Additionally, our findings of FCOI of PIs running the clinical trials suggests that there also may be a risk of industry influence on the clinical decision-making process for identifying interventions to treat these new ‘disorders’.” Read the rest »

Posted in: Dangerous Drugs


Maryland Trial Judge Overturns Plaintiff Verdict in Actos® Case

By on September 26, 2013 - Comments off

A Maryland jury found that Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. did not properly warn Diep An, an ex-U.S. Army translator, and his doctor about the risks of its Actos® diabetes drug and ordered the company to pay more than $1.7 million in damages. The judge immediately threw out the Plaintiff’s verdict on a technicality based on Maryland law.

This is the second time a U.S. jury has found Takeda failed to adequately warn of the bladder cancer risks of Actos to its users. This is also the second time a judge has overturned a Plaintiff’s verdict against Takeda. Under Maryland law, if a Plaintiff is even one percent at fault, the Plaintiff cannot recover. An was a thirty year smoker – a factor that the jury found had some tendancy to contribute to his injuries. Takeda is currently facing more than 3,000 suits regarding its link to an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.

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Posted in: Actos®


Mutual Pharmaceutical Company v. Bartlett: How the Decision Affects Us

By on July 18, 2013 - Comments off

In our previous blog post, we discussed the Supreme Court decision to prevent consumers from seeking legal recourse for injuries caused by defective generic drugs under preemption laws. The decision favors manufacturers and is conceptually in conflict with the 2009 Supreme Court ruling that brand-name manufacturers may be sued for damages caused by drug defects. If brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturers can be held accountable for unsafe drugs, then generic drug manufacturers should also be responsible for theirs.

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Mutual Pharmaceutical Company v. Bartlett: Supreme Court Protects Makers of Unsafe Generic Drugs

By on July 17, 2013 - Comments off

According to the Los Angeles Times, generic drugs are the nation’s most commonly used medications. In fact, roughly 80% of prescriptions prescribed by doctors are for generic drugs. Unfortunately for consumers, if a person suffers injury as the result of a defective generic drug, he or she is barred from suing the manufacturer for damages. In a 5-4 decision last Monday, the Supreme Court tossed out a $21 million jury verdict awarded to Karen Bartlett, a woman who is now legally blind and lost nearly two-thirds of her skin after taking the generic pain killer Sulindac to relieve shoulder pain.

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Judge Presiding Over RCRSD Case Finds No Fraudulent Joinder of CA-Based Effexor Distributor, Action Remanded to State Court

By on June 17, 2013 - Comments off

According to a California federal District Court, a California company that distributed anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drug Effexor was not fraudulently joined in a products liability failure to warn action against Pfizer, Inc., Pfizer International LLC and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the drug’s manufacturers, and McKesson Corp., the its distributor. As a result, the action was sent back to state court.

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Future of Type 2 Diabetes Drugs Threatened

By on June 6, 2013 - Comments off

According to The New York Times, an animal study requested by Merck for its type 2 diabetes drug, Januvia, revealed worrisome changes in the pancreases of rats, leading to follow-up studies which now threaten the future of the lucrative diabetes drug, as well as all other drugs in its class.

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Jury Awards $6.5 Million in Actos® Bladder Cancer Suit

By on May 1, 2013 - Comments off

On Friday, April 26, 2013, a Los Angeles jury awarded $6.5 million to the plaintiff, finalizing the suit filed against Japanese pharmaceutical company, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, for hiding the link between Actos® and the high risk of bladder cancer. The action was brought by 79-year-old Jack Cooper, who was diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos for five years.

This verdict is a strong first step in the pursuit of justice for the many Actos users who have been harmed by the drug. Our attorneys at Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc. have represented many clients in pharmaceutical litigation and hope that the lawsuits that follow this verdict in the ongoing Actos matter are equally successful.

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Posted in: Actos®

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Senator Harkin and Representative Waxman File Brief on Preemption in Bartlett Supreme Court Decision

By on March 18, 2013 - Comments off

Senator Tom Harkin and Representative Henry A. Waxman have filed a brief of amici curiae in support of Karen L. Bartlett over the Supreme Court of the United State’s decision in the case of Mutual Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. v. Karen L. Bartlett. The brief concerns pharmaceutical regulation and federal preemption under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and the Hatch-Waxman Amendments, of which Representative Waxman was co-sponsor during its creation in 1984. Under preemption, federal law overrides state law. In regard to issues of defective drugs or product liability, preemption would mean that plaintiffs can’t file claims in state court if a federal agency such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved the product in question.

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