Judge Cuts Damages from $9 Billion to $36 Million over Diabetes Drug Lawsuit
A U.S. judge on Monday made a sweeping cut to a $9 billion punitive damages settlement, slicing it down to a trifling $36.8 million against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co and Eli Lilly & Co over their diabetes drug, Actos.
District Judge Rebecca Doherty of Louisiana granted a motion in court for the two drug makers to get off practically scot-free, considering the reduction in joint punitive damages amounts to a fraction of the original award, and represents nothing to pharmaceutical companies that usually gross in the several billions. (Eli Lilly made more than $18.21 billion in gross sales just last year.)
The damages were awarded in the one of the first federal cases to go to trial in which multiple Big Pharma companies were tried simultaneously, as a consolidated group. They were awarded because both drug makers failed to warn that Actos, prescribed for diabetes, could cause bladder cancer. In 2010, the U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement saying that taking Actos could cause an increase in bladder cancer rates of more than 40%, but this probability even showed up in clinical trials, so why was the drug ever given a rubber stamp to begin with?
Judge Doherty’s ruling is blasphemous, considering that a drug company knowingly marketed a drug that would not only cause cancer, but also scarcely reduced the disease of diabetes. A $9 billion dollar award in those who suffered from taking this drug doesn’t come close to health destruction.