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US jury hits Takeda, Eli Lilly with a whopping US$9 billion penalty

TOKYO--A U.S. jury ordered Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and Eli Lilly to pay US$9 billion in punitive damages over a diabetes medicine linked to cancer, but Japan's biggest drugmaker said Tuesday it will “vigorously challenge” the decision.

The District Court, Western District Louisiana, ordered a US$6 billion penalty for Takeda and US$3 billion for its business partner and co-defendant Eli Lilly. It also decided US$1.5 million in compensatory damages in favor of the plaintiff.

The legal fight turned on whether Actos, which is a drug used to treat type-two diabetes, caused a patient's bladder cancer and by implication was responsible for other cases of the cancer.

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