By: Staff Writers | Published: November 10th, 2011
The federal judge presiding over all Avandia lawsuits is pushing further settlement negotiations between GlaxoSmithKline and plaintiffs in all remaining injury cases, indicating that cases will be set for trial if the vast majority of the lawsuits are not settled within the next three months.
U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe has appointed a mediator in the federal Avandia MDL, multidistrict litigation, to over see the settlement negotiations, with a 75 day deadline for 85% of all pending lawsuits to be settled.
According to a report by Bloomberg News, the Judge has suggested that cases will be fast-tracked for trial if the deadline is not met, designating some of the oldest lawsuits for trials to begin within 60 days.
The first Avandia trials were scheduled to begin this month in state courts in New Mexico and California. However, those trial dates have been delayed until next year, according to Bloomberg News.
Avandia (rosiglitazone) was a popular type 2 diabetes drug that was used by millions of people before it was linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and heart problems. Some estimates suggest that more than 100,000 heart attacks may have been caused by Avandia since it was introduced.
GlaxoSmithKline has previously agreed to pay an estimated $700 million to resolve more than 10,000 Avandia suits. However, Bloomberg News reports that approximately 20,000 cases are still pending.
Last week, it was reported that GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay the federal government $3 billion to resolve charges that it illegally marketed Avandia for purposes that were not approved by the FDA.