Avandia Lawsuit Guidelines
Lawsuits have been pursued against GlaxoSmithKline after patients who used Avandia to control diabetes suffered heart attacks. Since the drug’s approval in 1999 for the management of type II diabetes, an estimated 50,000 lawsuits have been settled by the pharmaceutical company after it failed to adequately warn the public about the risks. Lawyers argue that if patients were made aware that rosiglitazone was associated with a serious danger of heart attacks, they would have chosen to use a different (and safer) type of diabetes medication.
Medication Type: Diabetes Medication
Injury: Heart Attacks
Total Cases: 50,000
Settlement Amounts: Over $3.4 billion (total)
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What is Avandia?
Avandia (rosiglitazone) is an oral diabetes drug in the thiazolidinedione class of drugs. It works as an insulin sensitizer, by helping to control blood sugar levels by binding to fat cells and making the cells more responsive to insulin. Avandia is only used in type 2 diabetes and is not recommended for use with insulin. It is often used in association with other antidiabetes drugs such as metformin and glimepride.
Why is Avandia Dangerous?
GlaxoSmithKline (formerly SmithKline Beecham) allegedly demonstrated the medication’s safety and effectiveness in 1999, by conducting the RECORD clinical trial. In this study, Avandia was compared to a similar medication known as Actos (pioglitazone), but the corporation chose to hide the results for undisclosed reasons. Several years later, in 2007, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that used GSK’s own published data, found that Avandia was associated with a 43 percent increased heart attack risk. Others researchers also found solid evidence about rosiglitazone’s risks of stroke, cardiovascular issues and all-cause mortality in elderly patients.
The Product Liability Litigation
After suffering from the grievous and often lethal side effects, many patients or their relatives started filing Avandia lawsuits against GSK. Their attorneys accuse the manufacturer of actively concealing information regarding the life-threatening risks associated with the drug. GSK, in fact, knew about them after the RECORD clinical trial was completed, and chose to misrepresent its products as safe for the sake of profit. After an investigation issued by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in 2008, GSK was also found responsible for suppressing any critic against rosiglitazone by hiding data and even intimidating physicians and other healthcare providers.
As the number of cases kept mounting, in 2008 the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) decided to centralize them in the MDL No. 1871 in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to speed up the legal proceedings.
An estimated 50,000 Avandia cases have been settled so far. The first 700 cases were settled out of court in 2010, for approximately $60 million. Later that year, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to settle about 10,000 cases for $460 million. In early 2011, just as the first federal trials began, GlaxoSmithKline decided to pay a reported $250 million to settle 5,500 death claims. In November 2011, the federal judge presiding over Avandia MDL appointed a mediator to resolve the bulk of the pending MDL cases. In February 2012, the judge announced that the court was satisfied with the progress of settlements and would now focus on resolving remaining cases through litigation.