GSK is paying $3 billion to resolve US government claims that it illegally marketed drugs such as Avandia, which is a diabetes drug.
Glaxo who are one of the world’s biggest drug makers agreed last month to resolve more than 20,000 outstanding cases which alleged Avandia caused heart attacks. The settlements are part of London-based Glaxo’s efforts to resolve legal issues stretching back more than a decade. Executives announced in November that the drug maker will pay $3 billion to settle US criminal and civil probes into whether Glaxo illegally marketed Avandia and other medications.
Glaxo has already agreed to pay $700 million to settle more than 15,000 patients’ claims that Avandia caused heart attacks and strokes. Avandia was prescribed for use in Ireland.
Glaxo said in 2010 it would stop promoting Avandia worldwide after regulators said that the treatment would be withdrawn from the market in Europe and sales would be limited because of studies linking the drug to increased risk of heart attack.
Avandia was once the world’s best selling diabetes pill but sales fell 43% in the wake of the restrictions.
Speaking about the settlement, Liam Moloney Product Liability Solicitor of Naas, Co. Kildare said today “Avandia was widely used in Ireland until it was suspended from being prescribed in September 2010. At that time the European Medicines Agency completed a review of the benefit-risk profile of products containing Rosiglitazone (Avandiamet and Avaglim) with a focus on cardiovascular safety. Since this drug was initially prescribed in Ireland it had been recognised as being associated with fluid retention and increased risk of heart failure. The European Medicines Agency has confirmed that Rosiglitazone is associated with an increased cardiovascular risk. Any person that has been taking Avandia for a number of years and has suffered heart problems as a result may be entitled to claim compensation and should immediately see their doctor and Solicitor”.