Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Defective drug case being tried in Pennsylvania

A push recently in a federal Pennsylvania court for a drug manufacturer to resolve pending product liability claims has come about after that same company agreed to pay $3 billion to settle other claims concerning illegally marketing of a diabetic medication. This came after the company allegedly paid off doctors and manipulated research to promote their drug.

Studies revealed that the particular drug at the center of the lawsuit increased the risks of heart attacks for individuals taking the medication. The drug was once the best selling diabetes pill in the world, but sales have understandably fell after information concerning the adverse side effects of the medication were released.

The drug company has already agreed to pay out $700 million for individuals that actually did suffer heart attack or strokes after being prescribed the medication. These settlements included more than 10,000 individual cases. However, many more cases have yet to be resolved and may be referred to mediation. It is estimated that as many as 20,000 cases are still pending against the drug manufacturer.

Remember that we are dealing with a drug manufacturer that once generated more than $3 billion in sales of the drug that is now subject to litigation. This indicates the tremendous financial reserves that such companies have available to them in the litigation of any lawsuit. Therefore, those concerned about the adverse side effects of medications they are taking may want to consult with an experienced attorney that will understand how to successfully negotiate with drug manufacturers.

Sadly, individuals dying of heart attack or stroke as a result of taking such medications may also be providers for their family. That family may have no financial options available to them outside of litigation after such a loss has occurred.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, "Glaxo Facing Mediation Push to Resolve Avandia Lawsuits," by Jef Feeley, Nov. 11, 2011

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