A settlement has been reached in the first Avandia lawsuit to go to trial. GlaxoSmithKline announced the settlement on January 31, the day the jury trial was set to begin in federal court in Philadelphia, PA. The wrongful death lawsuit was brought by the family of James Buford, who died of a heart attack in 2006 at age 49 after taking Avandia for about 15 months.
The settled lawsuit claimed that Avandia’s dangerous side-effects increase the risk of heart attack and death, that Glaxo failed to adequately warn consumers or the medical community about the risk. The legal claims against Glaxo include negligence, breach of warranty, strict product liability (failure to warn), unfair trade practices (fraud) and infliction of emotional distress.
In 2006, the worldwide sales of Avandia topped $3.2 billion. In 2007, a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine that link use of Avandia to a 43% increase in the risk of heart attack and a 64% increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular causes. Sales if the diabetes drug plummeted to about $1.2 billion in 2009. On September 23, 2010, the FDA announced tight new restrictions on Avandia, but fell short of ordering an Avandia recall. The same day, it was announced that the drug would be pulled from the market in Europe. Glaxo has stopped promoting Avandia and sales of the diabetes drug are expected to drop to “insignificant” levels.
On January 17, 2011, GlaxoSmithKline announced a $3.4 billion legal charge against earnings in the 4th quarter of 2011.
“We recognize that this is a significant charge, but we believe the approach we are taking to resolve long-standing legal matters is in the company’s best interests,” said Glaxo’s senior vice president for global litigation. “We have closed out a number of major cases over the last year and we remain determined to do all we can to reduce our litigation risk.”
More Avandia settlements are expected this year.
The attorneys at AvandiaRecallNews.com no longer are accepting new Avandia cases.