US jury hits Eli Lilly, Takeda with $9B penalty


Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly suffered a setback Tuesday when a federal court ordered it to pay $3 billion in punitive damages over a diabetes drug.

The legal fight was over Actos, a drug used to treat diabetes, as causing a patient's bladder cancer.

Eli Lilly's co-defendant, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, was ordered to pay $6 billion. Takeda, which is Japan's biggest drug maker, is challenging the move.

The District Court, Western District Louisiana, on Tuesday ordered a $3 billion penalty for  Eli Lilly, as well as $1.5 million in compensatory damages.

Lilly says Takeda bears all of the liability for the $9 billion verdict against the two, meaning it won't pay anything.

"While we have empathy for the plaintiff, we believe the evidence did not support his claims," said Mike Harrington, Senior Vice President and General Counsel. "Lilly disagrees with the verdict and we intend to vigorously challenge this outcome through all available legal means."

Takeda Senior Vice President Kenneth Greisman said in a statement that Takeda disagrees with the verdict and plans post-trial motions and an appeal.

He said he empathized with the plaintiff but the drug did not cause his cancer.

The drug comes with warnings about serious side effects, including liver problems, broken bones and higher risk of bladder cancer.

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