A new class action lawsuit has been filed in Illinois over Avandia, the beleaguered diabetes drug that has been linked to an increased risk of heart problems and which has already been the subject of thousands of individual injury suits filed by users throughout the United States.
The Avandia class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 43 plaintiffs last month in St. Clair County Circuit Court against GlaxoSmithKline and some of its subsidiaries.
Plaintiffs allege that GlaxoSmithKline knew that Avandia increased the risk of heart problems as early as 2005, but failed to adequately warn patients.
According to a report by The Madison Record, this latest lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $650,000 and charges GlaxoSmithKline, SmithKline Beecham Corporation and McKesson Corporation with breach of warranty, fraud, misrepresentation and negligence.
Avandia (rosiglitazone) was first introduced in 1998 to treat type 2 diabetes by helping control blood sugar levels. The drug has been used by millions of diabetics throughout the world, but sales began to plummet in mid-2007, after a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine highlighted the potential Avandia heart risks.
A “black box” warning was added to Avandia in the United States in November 2007, but many critics continued to argue that the warning was not strong enough and called for an Avandia recall to be issued in the United States.
Despite a growing body of evidence pointing to increased risk of Avandia heart attacks, the FDA decided in September 2010 not to recall Avandia in the United States. Instead the FDA allowed the medication to remain on the market with severe restrictions on who can use the product.
Last month the FDA put those restrictions on Avandia in place, announcing that the medication will only be available from select pharmacies by mail order and special educational programs will be required before the drug can be prescribed.
GlaxoSmithKline has already faced thousands of Avandia lawsuits in the U.S. filed by individuals who allege that the drug maker failed to adequately warn about the risk of heart problems from Avandia. A number of Avandia settlements have reportedly been reached by GlaxoSmithKline in an effort to resolve the litigation, but thousands of cases are still pending in courts throughout the country.