Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Glaxo Settles Almost 25,000 Avandia Cases Under Mediation - Businessweek

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- GlaxoSmithKline Plc settled almost 25,000 cases over its Avandia diabetes drug in mediation as multidistrict litigation begins to wind down, lawyers told a federal judge in Philadelphia.

In November, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe appointed a mediator to preside over settlement negotiations. She also set a 75-day deadline to resolve 85 percent of the remaining cases. While it was unclear in a court hearing today whether lawyers met the threshold, Rufe called the effort “a major success.”

“Mediation will no longer be the focus of this court’s effort,” Rufe said. “We will resolve the remaining cases through litigation.”

The settlements are part of London-based Glaxo’s efforts to resolve legal issues stretching back more than a decade. The drugmaker announced in November that it will pay $3 billion to settle U.S. criminal and civil probes into whether Glaxo illegally marketed Avandia and other medications.

More than 2,500 Avandia cases are consolidated before Rufe in Philadelphia. Other cases are pending in state courts around the U.S. So far, as many as 50,000 cases have been resolved, including claims filed in both state and federal court, Diane Nast, a plaintiffs’ attorney who serves on a group helping to oversee cases, told Rufe today.

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