Understanding pharmaceutical liability laws is important to protect both patients and companies that manufacture drugs to improve lives. The largest drug manufacturer in Asia, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., recently won a lawsuit related to its Actos diabetes medication. The company is facing thousands of similar lawsuits throughout the United States. In the latest case, the company was found not liable for causing the bladder cancer of two women. The jury found that the company's drug did not cause the bladder cancer. The finding is the company's fifth victory out of six similar cases that have gone to trial in the United States.
Eli Lilly and Co., which marketed the drug for Takeda in the United States was not named in this lawsuit, though it has been named in others. Recently, as mentioned in this blog, Takeda and Lilly were ordered to pay over $9 billion to one litigant with bladder cancer who had taken the drug. Takeda, which has indemnified Lilly, plans to appeal the verdict and damages award.
Takeda is accused of failing to properly warn users of the drug of the possible increased risk of bladder cancer and heart problems reported in an analysis of the drug performed by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011. Lawyers for Takeda argue that the women who developed bladder cancer could not prove it was the drug that caused it, as they were not currently taking the drug when diagnosed.
Pharmaceutical companies face the prospect of drug liability and pharmaceutical liability lawsuits on a daily basis. When a lawsuit is brought, often every party in the chain of distribution, from pharmaceutical marketing firms to drug manufacturers to prescribing physicians, can face liability for harm that results from a patient injury. Because of this, it is important for companies that are engaged in the pharmaceuticals business to understand how to effectively mitigate risk and confront unwarranted claims for damages.
While no one wants patients to suffer from defective or harmful drugs, pharmaceutical development requires extensive resources to develop life-saving medications. Because of this, it is important for pharmaceutical companies to understand how to protect themselves and preserve essential resources when necessary.