Monday, 8 March 2010

More Trouble for Glaxo: Company Sued by California County for Avandia Risks

A beleaguered Glaxo Smith Kline, already reeling from stinging criticism from a US Senate report linking its anti-diabetes drug Avandia to increased heart disease rates, is now facing a lawsuit from Santa Clara County in California. The county alleges that Glaxo concealed these risks from consumers. The pharmaceutical negligence lawsuit seeks compensation for providers, as well as patients.

According to the lawsuit filed by Santa Clara County, the county has incurred heavy medical expenses treating Avandia users who have suffered heart attacks after taking the type II diabetes drug. Lawyers say that Santa Clara County runs its own healthcare centers and treats indigent patients, and therefore, its losses are much heavier than those suffered by other counties. According to the lawsuit, Santa Clara County spent approximately $2 million on Avandia between 1999 and 2007. It also incurred heavy costs, treating patients who suffered heart failure, heart attacks and other cardiac conditions brought on by Avandia use.

This is believed to be the first government lawsuit against Glaxo Smith Kline. It comes after a US Senate Finance Committee report that strongly criticized the pharmaceutical giant for concealing the risks associated with Avandia use. The report was the result of a two-year study of the main ingredient in Avandia, Rosiglitazone. The report found what California pharmaceutical product liability attorneys have been saying for a while now - that Avandia users were at a higher risk of heart disease compared to Actos, a competing drug. The report also found that Glaxo Smith Kline was likely aware of the increased risks of heart disease in Avandia users much before such evidence was made public.

While Glaxo rebutted the report findings with a 30-page report of its own defending Avandia, the company is likely to face increasing number of lawsuits from government agencies who allege that Glaxo concealed Avandia's dangers, at high risk to patient safety. The Senate report on Glaxo’s negligence, as well as a recent recommendation by two Food and Drug Administration scientists that Avandia be pulled off the market, will likely spur lawsuits from other governmental agencies around the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment