A diabetes patient who sued drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) over its diabetes drug Avandia has received the highest award ever recovered in an Israeli class-action suit against a drug manufacturer. The NIS 12.1 million (just over $3 million) agreement was reached over claims that GSK failed to warn patients about the increased risk of death from a heart attack associated with Avandia.
In 1999, Avandia was approved as a first line of defense for Israeli diabetes patients, to be administered before beginning insulin shots. The drug was widely prescribed for patients in Israel and around the world until concerns about its safety began to emerge in 2007.
That year, a report published in the
New England Journal of Medicine revealed that Avandia increased patients' risk of suffering a heart attack by a staggering 43%. The research also revealed that the drug increased the risk of death from a heart attack by 64%. GSK recently pled guilty to concealing Avandia safety information from authorities as part of the company's $3 billion settlement agreement with the U.S. federal government.
In 2010, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) internal report determined that Avandia did cause heart damage, and that the drug could be linked to 304 deaths in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2009 alone.
In the wake of these reports, European regulators began conducting independent evaluations of the drug, eventually pulling it from the market in October 2010. Authorities in Israel and the U.S. decided to allow the drug's continued sale, to be used for the treatment of diabetics whose blood sugar levels could not be controlled using other treatment options.
In July 2007, just after the Avandia heart data was published, an Israeli diabetic filed suit against the drug manufacturer claiming that GSK had concealed safety information from the public. Including the distribution of the medication with old safety brochures which did not to disclose the dangers Avandia posed to heart health. The case was later recognized as a class-action suit. The NIS 12.1 million payout reflects a compromise agreement reached between GSK and the plaintiffs; the money will go towards training Israeli diabetes professionals and the purchase of other diabetes drugs not currently available in the country.
Settlements like the one just reached in Israel remind us all that drug companies' fraudulent behavior impact patients all over the world. If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous drug like Avandia, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the drug injury attorneys at Arnold & Itkin today for a free consultation.