Takeda, Lilly lose bid to overturn $9 bln award for hiding cancer risk

Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:03pm EDT

Aug 28 (Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly & Co lost a bid to overthrow a combined $9 billion punitive-damage award by a U.S. jury for hiding cancer risks associated with their Actos diabetes drug, according to a court ruling.

"Plaintiffs have pointed to sufficient evidence from which the jury could have concluded that the 'information' about bladder cancer contained in Actos labels did not adequately warn of the increased risk of cancer," said U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty of the Western District of Louisiana on Wednesday.

Punitive damages are meant to discourage companies from bad conduct. Compensatory damages are meant to pay victims for their actual losses.

Takeda had decided to contest the award in April and legal experts had said at that time that it was unlikely that such a large award would stand after challenges in court by both companies.

Actos, an oral Type 2 diabetes medication that regulates blood sugar levels, has been on the market since 1999. It is currently banned in Germany and France.

Neither Takeda nor Eli Lilly were immediately available for comment outside normal business hours. (Reporting by Anjali Rao Koppala in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)