GSK Playing Hardball With UK Families Over Avandia Litigation
Avandia Patients that have pending litigation in the United Kingdom may not be getting due compensation anytime soon, for those lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline, (GSK) the manufacturer of the Avandia brand of Rosiglitazone, a diabetes drug discovered to increase risk factors for stroke and heart attacks in diabetics.
A study published in 2007 indicates that Rosiglitazone may increase fatalities from heart disease by as much as 43%.
Products containing Rosiglitazone, like Avandia, were pulled from the market in Europe in September 2010, but continue to be sold in the United States, under specific guidelines put forth by the U.S. FDA.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) made recommendations in September 2010 that the drug be pulled from the European marketplace, and it is no longer sold there.
According to the FDA, Rosiglitazone may have been responsible for over 100,000 heart attacks in the U.S. alone, with no figure currently available for the U.K. or Europe.
GlaxoSmithKline, (GSK) has admitted to hiding evidence indicating the adverse side effects of Avandia, such as increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, bone fractures, macular edema, and hepatitis.
GlaxoSmithKline, (GSK) currently has settled over 3 billion dollars in lawsuits in the U.S., with estimates running as high as 6 billion dollars by the time all lawsuits are settled.
Product liability lawsuits in the U.K. are another matter all together.
According to an article in the Guardian UK, Daniel Slade, Partner in the Law Firm – Express Solicitors, as well as the Lead Counselor for the firm’s Public Liability and Occupier’s team, has indicated he has 19 open cases of litigation concerning GlaxoSmithKline’s Avandia, with 4 of them proceeding at this time.
According to Counselor Slade, indications are that GSK will contest all the cases, and he said that GSK will spend maybe double or triple what each case is worth to discourage future litigation.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Slade. “We anticipate that these claims do have a good prospect of success, but they still have to prove their case in the UK with suitable evidence, including medical expert opinion. It is a burden one would have thought they might not have to go through.”
Forcing each and every case through the court system will mean it will take years and years for a settlement to be reached.
Legal matters are handled differently in the U.S. versus the U.K.
GSK may have settled in the U.S. earlier for two reasons, one, the drug is still being prescribed for treatment of type 2 diabetes, and two, the U.S. is the biggest marketplace in the world.
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