In March of 2010, the Guardian reported that over 13,000 lawsuits had been filed against GlaxoKleinSmith seeking seeking Avandia settlements. In May, GKS reached a Avandia settlement by paying $60 million to resolve 700 of the suits. In July, GKS paid out roughly $460 million to reach an avandia settlement an additional 10,000 suits.
In June of 2010, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine filed a suit against the FDA, claiming that the FDA ignored the evidence that supported the claim that Avandia increased the risk of heart injury in patients being treated for type-II diabetes.
MDL No. 1871 has been formed by the Judicial Panel on Multi District Litigation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. People that have suffered heart attacks or other injuries have filed lawsuits and reached Avandia Settlements claiming that Avandia and two of its sister drugs containing Avandia (Avandamet and Avandaryl) caused an increased risk of heart attack and other physical injury and that GlaxoSmithKline failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the risk. The defendants are denying these allegations.
Avandia Settlements and Senate Committee
On July 12, 2010, the United States Senate Committee on Finance sent a letter to Margaret Hamburg, the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about their concerns regarding Avandia which was key in Avandia Settlements. Documents that the Committee had requested from GlaxoKleinSmith, the company that markets Avandia, had led the Committee to conclude that 1) GSK apparently failed to publish studies in a timely manner that found problems with Avandia and 2) Avandia was part of a GSK ghostwriting program.
According to the letter, “as far back as 2000, internal emails show that GSK executives sought to downplay scientific findings, which raised questions about the safety of Avandia.” signifigant in Avandia settlements. In the letter, they site several emails, including one where a GSK executive wrote, in response to a study that indicated that Avandia was more harmful than its competitor Actos, that “Per Sr. Mgmt, these data should not see the light of day to anyone outside of GSK. “ Furthermore, there was evidence to suggest that GSK delayed sending that report to the FDA.
The Committee also presented emails between executives discussing whether to publish two GSK studies that found problems with Avandia. One GSK executive responded, in email, “Not a chance. These put Avnadia [sic] in quite a negative light.”
Senator Chuck Grassley said, “I've heard from some scientists that they can't disclose the findings of their studies because the data belongs to the manufacturer. It's up to the manufacturer to decide if and when the results would be published, and those results don't always see the light of day.”
The letter from the Committee also investigated the GSK ghostwriting program, where GSK would encourage journalists and medical professionals to write positive articles and then have them presented to medical journals is independent reviews through third parties. In particular they site an article written by Steven Haffner, MD, and published by the American Heart Association, that appears to have been written by GSK. While this process is not entirely illegal, it does raise some ethical questions about the practices of GSK regarding the honesty in their promotional efforts.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said.“Patients and doctors have a right to know the risks of the medicines they use and prescribe, and drug companies have a responsibility to release data regarding safety concerns about their products. We will continue working with the FDA on Avandia to ensure patients and doctors have the information they need to make safe, informed decisions about their medications.”
Avandia Settlements and Avandia Attorneys
If you or someone you know has been affected by Avandia side effects, you may be entitled to an Avandia settlement. You should speak to an Avandia lawyer as soon as possible, as there are laws that set a time line for filing Avandia lawsuits. If your Avandia lawsuit is not filed before the deadline, then you may miss out on your opportunity to claim an Avandia settlement.
The statute of limitations on Avandia lawsuits is based on many factors surrounding your claim. These factors include the state you file your lawsuit in, the injuries that were suffered and type of claim made. Every case is different and if you have any questions on the best practices when filing an Avandia Lawsuit, please contact our legal team. Complete the Free Case Evaluation form to the right to have your case reviewed. If you have suffered injury as a result of taking Avandia, you should consult an Avandia lawyer as soon as possible in order to protect your claim for an Avandia settlement.