Two drug companies have been handed a record fine of $9 bn after they concealed evidence of a possible link between their diabetes drug, Actos, and bladder cancer. A jury in Louisiana, USA imposed the penalty on Takeda, Japan's largest drug company, and Eli Lilly, its former US partner.
The companies have been swamped by thousands of lawsuits from patients after the US's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning in 2011 that the drug might increase the risk of bladder cancer. The companies have consistently denied any association, and plan to appeal the verdict and record fine.
Even before the bladder cancer warning, the drug had been linked to an increased risk of cognitive heart failure.
(Source: Financial Times, April 8, 2014)