Thursday, February 07, 2013

Hey GSK - what's the difference between Avandia in the US and the UK?

Express Solicitors pursues GlaxoSmithKline

Northenden personal injury practice Express Solicitors is pursuing GlaxoSmithKline for damages on behalf of clients who took diabetes drug Avandia

Law firm Express Solicitors is taking on pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline as it seeks damages for clients who took a diabetes drug linked to causing heart attacks and strokes.

The Northenden personal injury practice is acting for 31 people who took Avandia or had relatives who were prescribed the medication, also known as Rosiglitazone.

The drug had its European licence removed in 2010 because of evidence it could cause side effects including heart attacks, strokes, congestive heart failure or heart-related death.

In four cases, Express has begun High Court proceedings against GSK over the way it marketed and developed Avandia, which was taken by more than 100,000 people before it was banned.

GSK has already agreed to pay out settlements in claims lodged in the United States but has indicated it will fight those being brought by Express.

In one case alone, it has set aside £600,000 to fight the allegations.

Daniel Slade, partner at Express, said: “Even though a settlement was reached in the US to settle the lawsuits, it seems GSK wishes to put up a fight in the UK as indicated in correspondence pre-proceedings.”

Slade says he expects more people to come forward to join those involved in the initial claims, as awareness of the legal action increases.

He added: “Avandia has now been banned in Europe and anyone who has suffered from taking the drug may be able to join them in making claims.

“We are preparing for many more enquiries as awareness continues to be raised about the possible ill effects of Avandia throughout the UK.”

Avandia was designed for patients who struggled to get their diabetes under control through changes to their diet or exercise levels.

The tablets aimed to help lower blood sugar levels by increasing the sensitivity of liver, fat and muscle cells to insulin.

GSK denies it concealed information about Avandia's side effects when it marketed the drug, despite settling legal action in America.

A statement said it was unable to comment on ongoing legal cases.

It added: “We continue to believe that the company acted appropriately and responsibly in its management of Avandia.

“Specifically, it is wrong to suggest that we hid or concealed safety data relating to Avandia.”

The statement added: “With respect to Avandia, the settlement reached in 2012 following a US Department of Justice investigation related solely to the inadvertent omissions in certain Food and Drug Administration regulatory reports of information regarding the initiation andstatus of certain studies.

“The Department of Justice has expressly acknowledged that the information had been provided by GSK to the FDA in other forms.

“The FDA has also stated that the omissions did not impact the agency’s evaluation of the safety data related to Avandia.”

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