April 28 (Reuters) - Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd and its Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. Inc unit said on Tuesday they reached a $2.4 billion agreement to settle the majority of claims involving the diabetes drug Actos.
Takeda said it will take a $2.7 billion charge against earnings to cover the settlement costs in the 2014 fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31. The charge will also cover costs associated with defending remaining cases and related litigation.
Takeda, which was accused of failing to warn users that Actos could raise the risk for bladder cancer, said it believes the claims made in the litigation are without merit and said it does not admit liability.
The company said the settlement will become effective if 95 percent of current litigants and claimants opt into the settlement. (bit.ly/1GtWzng)
Takeda will then pay $2.37 billion into a settlement fund. The sum will rise to $2.4 billion if 97 percent or more of current litigants and claimants opt to participate in settlement, the company said.
Current litigants and claimants who meet prescribed criteria would receive payouts from the fund.
Actos, an oral medication used to regulate blood sugar levels in patients with type-2 diabetes, has been on the market since 1999.
The company said it now expects an operating loss for the fiscal year ended in March of 145 billion yen compared with its earlier forecast for a profit of 65 billion yen.
Takeda said Actos continues to be available in the United States, Japan and other countries and the settlement will not affect its ability to pay dividends.
A U.S. judge in October had slashed a $9 billion punitive damages award to $36.8 million against Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co over Actos.
Reporting by Kshitiz Goliya in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler