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Avandia Maker to Pay Over $3.4 Billion in Damages

Posted on Jan 31, 2011

The newest lawsuit cost figures from GlaxoSmithKline are higher than expected.  The company had already announced that they would be paying $2.36 billion in legal charges for cases stemming from Avandia and Paxil.  Now the drug giant has announced that it will be paying $3.4 billion more to settle additional legal charges and sales and promotional practices in the US.

According to the senior vice-president of global litigation at GlaxoSmithKline, "We have closed out a number of major cases over the last year and we remain determined to do all we can to reduce our litigation risk."

While the drug was completely removed from European markets in September, the US has not banned the drug, but instead recalled it and severely limited its use, enacting stringent restrictions.  Avandia has been found to cause serious heart problems in many that take it.  The drug was intended to treat those with diabetes.  Instead, it has been linked to at least 83,000 heart attacks over the past ten years.

What remains to be seen is if the cost of class action cases against the pharmaceutical company will have a lasting impact on company policy regarding the production of potentially dangerous drugs.             

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