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Avandia Lawsuit by 93 Claims Drug Caused Heart Injuries

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More than 90 consumers who took Avandia are suing GlaxoSmithKline, claiming the company failed to warn them of the serious side effects associated with the diabetes drug. On May 19, the lead plaintiff, Barbara Meier, along with 93 others, filed a lawsuit against GSK and McKesson Corporation, alleging Avandia caused them to suffer from cardiovascular injuries and severe pain, reported the Madison Record.

The plaintiffs used Avandia to treat their Type 2 diabetes, but instead suffered from heart attacks and congestive heart failure, the complaint says.

In 1999, GSK introduced Avandia into the market and by 2006, at least 1 million Americans were using the drug.

Avandia’s popularity continued to soar– from January 2010 through October 2010, roughly 460,500 patients filled a prescription for the drug.

However, the number of prescriptions declined after a 2007 study revealed a 40 percent increase of risk developing cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and death among patients taking Avandia.

The plaintiffs allege that GSK and McKesson knew Avandia was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular problems; however, neither company updated the drug’s labels until August 2007, when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) responded to the study results by placing a black-box warning on Avandia’s label.

Unfortunately, the updated label came after the plaintiffs began taking Avandia.

Meier and the other plaintiffs assert that GSK and McKesson failed to perform adequate tests on Avandia to determine what risks were associated with the drug. Rather, GSK marketed the drug in an extensive media campaign.

In May, the FDA restricted the sale of Avandia in retail pharmacies. The agency reported that after November 18, doctors and patients must enroll in a program to prescribe or receive the drug.

The plaintiffs are seeking a judgment in excess of $700,000 plus costs for attorney’s fees.

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