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Avandia Lawsuits Filed in Illinois, Texas

May 29, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

Avandia lawsuits continue to be filed in courts around the country. Two just filed in Illinois involve a whopping 186 plaintiffs.  Another Avandia lawsuit in Texas claims the dangerous diabetes drug is not worth its risks.

Avandia’s cardiovascular problems have been the subject of concern since May 2007, when an analysis of 42 clinical trails published by the Cleveland Clinic showed that patients taking the drug had a 43-percent higher risk of having a heart attack.  That summer, GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Avandia and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) came under fire for an apparent failure to warn the public about the cardiac risks associated with Avandia.  In November 2007,  a Black Box warning detailing Avandia’s association with myocardial ischemia was added to the drug’s labeling.

Since the May 2007 study highlighting Avandia's heart risks was released, thousands of people injured by the drug have filed lawsuits against Glaxo.   The two Illinois lawsuits were filed May 15 in Illinois state court.  The 186 plaintiffs in the lawsuits  allege Glaxo failed to warn of potential serious side effects from which they or their deceased relatives suffered.  

As a result of their ingestion of the drug, the plaintiffs say they became ill and were impaired in their health, strength and activity. They also incurred medical costs, lost wages, suffered disabilities and experienced pain, according to the complaints. The plaintiffs maintain Glaxo should have provided  warnings on Avandia's heart risk before the FDA required the company to do so, especially since the company knew that most people with diabetes have risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol that provide a susceptibility for heart disease and stroke.

In both Illinois lawsuits, the plaintiffs are seeking a judgment in excess of $450,000, plus costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.  

The Texas lawsuit, filed on May 13 in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division, involves a man who had to have heart bypass surgery after having taken Avandia for five years.  The lawsuit alleges that Glaxo employed "spectacular" marketing and distribution strategy despite knowing that "its drug was unreasonably dangerous and that the diabetic patient population was uniformed of the dangers."

"Defendant Glaxo did not provide sufficient warnings and instructions that would have put Plaintiff and the general public, on notice of the dangers and adverse effects caused by ingesting [Avandia], including without limitation to risk of heart attack," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit claims that Avandia is defective in design and unreasonably dangerous and states that the risks of using Avandia far outweighed the benefits.

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