Avandia, manufactured by the British-based pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), was approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999 to help manage Type 2 diabetes when it cannot be controlled by other medications.  Generically known as rosiglitazone and belonging to a class of medications called thiaolidinediones, Avandia was at one time the world’s best selling diabetes drug, generating more than $3 billion annually.  Yet, in 2007, after studies exposed the high correlation between Avandia and heart attacks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated a black box warning on the drug while the European Medicines Agency (EMA) halted sales and removed Avandia from the European market.

In response to this study, thousands of lawsuits against GSK flooded the legal system filed by people who experienced Avandia’s life-threatening side effects, including heart attack and stroke.  In order to efficiently handle the influx of lawsuits, a Multidistrict Litigation, or MDL, was established under the administration of Judge Cynthia M. Rufe.  Unlike a class action where one person or group files a lawsuit based on the same grievance for a larger group, a MDL is a procedure in which all civil cases of a similar type are transferred to one federal judge.  This allows plaintiffs to save time, money, and resources and still retain their own attorney and negotiate their own terms. On October 16, 2007, MDL no. 1871 was created in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to handle any lawsuit filed against GSK in regards to Avandia’s marketing, sales practices, and products liability litigation including such claims as

  • failing to conduct sufficient testing which, if properly performed, would have shown that Avandia had serious side effects, including cardiothrombotic events, cardiac injury, and other serious side effects, and warn users of those risks
  • failing to include adequate and appropriate warnings of the potential risks and serious side effects of Avandia
  • failing to warn that use of Avandia carried a risk of death or permanent disability from cardiothrombotic events, cardiac injuries and other serious side effects
  • failing to advise the FDA, the health care industry, and the public about the adverse reports it had received regarding Avandia
  • failing to exercise reasonable care in advertising, marketing and promoting Avandia
  • failing to exercise ordinary care in the design of Avandia

In November 2011, under Judge Rufe’s orders, a mediator was selected to oversee settlement negotiations with a 75-day deadline for resolving 85% of the cases.  In January 2012, GSK agreed to settle more than 20,000 cases claiming Avandia use increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes.  The previous year, GSK paid more than $700 million to settle 15,000 similar cases.

Have you used Avandia and suffered a heart attack or stroke?  Any individual or the relative of an individual who has suffered due to Avandia’s side effects is permitted to file a lawsuit. The lawyers can help you determine whether you are qualified to seek compensation.  You may be eligible to seek reimbursement for medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, and punitive damages (compensation granted for losses suffered).

Different states have different legislation regarding medical lawsuits, so it is essential to hire an experienced and effective lawyer who can file the case. We can match your case with attorneys who have the experience to handle even the most complex claims, and we are accepting new cases.  If you need further information about the harmful side effects of Avandia or legal advice concerning personal injury matters, we invite you to contact us or to fill out our form on this website for a free case evaluation.