Avandia was a medication manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The purpose of the drug was to improve the control of a person’s blood glucose level.
However, it quickly became evident after hundreds of thousands of people started to use Avandia that it led to an increased risk of adverse health effects. Specifically, people who used Avandia had a higher risk of having congestive heart failure, a heart attack, liver failure or death compared to people using other types of drugs for type 2 diabetes.
GlaxoSmithKline has faced many lawsuits since 2007, and it’s wise for any consumer or concerned family member to check updates for Avandia lawsuit.
Many of the lawsuits related to Avandia are related to studies that GlaxoSmithKline conducted on its own. According to a 2010 Senate investigation, the company hid information about its findings from a 2003 study that found Avandia caused more health problems in people compared to a placebo.
At that time, the Senate asked the FDA to remove Avandia from the United States pharmaceuticals market, but it declined that request.
A few months later, an investigation by the New York Times revealed that GlaxoSmithKline hid other information about Avandia. The New York Times alleged that its information showed that GlaxoSmithKline studied Avandia and compared it to Actos, a competing drug.
Their study found that Avandia caused more health problems than the competitor’s product. However, GlaxoSmithKline didn’t publish this information.
Lawsuits Related to Avandia
The Senate investigation, New York Times whistleblower report and complaints to the FDA led to a multitude of lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline for its Avandia drug. In July 2012, GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to charges that it failed to report pertinent information about Avandia to the FDA.
The company paid $3 billion in fines in a plea agreement with the Department of Justice. At the time, it was the United States’ largest healthcare fraud settlement claim.
In addition to this federal lawsuit, GlaxoSmithKline was sued by 38 states. The states’ attorneys general alleged that GlaxoSmithKline marketed Avandia off the books as a drug for lowering blood cholesterol levels. In truth, the drug caused more cardiac harm than good. In November 2012, a settlement was reached between the states’ attorneys general and GlaxoSmithKline.
The company paid $90 million, but it didn’t admit to wrongdoing. It did agree to change its marketing methods and materials for diabetes treatments.
Private lawsuits are ongoing for Avandia. Insurer Humana sued GlaxoSmithKline in 2010. Humana argued that federal law allowed it to do so because it’s a Medicare secondary payer provider. A federal judge agreed, and the suit proceeded.
GlaxoSmithKline also had to deal with many class action and private individual lawsuits. In May 2010, it settled 700 of them for $60 million in damages. Just two months later, it settled another 10,000 lawsuits from individuals for more than $460 million.
New Developments in Avandia Lawsuits
New research has allowed individuals to file new lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline for its Avandia drug. Even though the drug is still on the market in the United States, people have filed lawsuits related to a higher risk of liver toxicity, hypoglycemia, anemia, pregnancy, weight gain, eye damage, stroke, bone fractures and mortality from any cause.
India, Spain and the United Kingdom banned Avandia in 2010, and New Zealand and South Africa banned it in 2011. These countries stated that the risks outweigh the benefits of using the drug.
An FDA panel required GlaxoSmithKline to update its “black box” warning label for the drug. However, not all of the proposed warnings were added to the drug’s labeling. The company has settled more than 13,000 lawsuits since 2010, and individual litigation is still pending in many cases. New data about adverse reactions is handled by Duke University. Consumers should continue to check for updates for Avandia lawsuits.
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