A class action lawsuit filed this week against the makers of Avandia and the Canadian government alleges that the popular diabetes drug increases the risk of heart failure, heart attack and death for older users.
The Avandia class action lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax by a Nova Scotia man who claims that the potential risks associated with the drug were not properly disclosed and that the drug maker should have known that it was unsafe for diabetes patients.
Avandia (rosiglitazone), which is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, PLC, has been one the best selling medications worldwide in recent years. It is used to treat Type 2 Diabetes, but recent studies have demonstrated that Avandia side effects increase the risk of heart attacks by 43%.
The class action lawsuit over Avandia in Canada also names the federal government on the basis that Health Canada, which approved the drug in 2001, is at least partially responsible for approving a drug label that fails to adequately disclose the heart risks associated with Avandia.
Many similar Avandia lawsuits have also been filed in the United States seeking compensation from GlaxoSmithKline for failing to adequately study their medication and warn about the heart risks. Some estimates suggest that as many as 100,000 heart attacks could have been caused by Avandia since it was approved by the FDA in the United States in 1999.
Avandia lawsuits filed in federal court on behalf of individual users who claim injuries as a result of heart attacks and other heart related problems have had their cases consolidated in a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) for pretrial proceedings. The Avandia litigation is centralized in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where GlaxoSmithKline is headquartered.