Readers in Jefferson have likely heard of the diabetes drug Avandia. Avandia has been in the news because it was found that the drug was linked to a significant increase in the risk of heart attacks.
After patients discovered that the defective drug was harmful to their health, they decided to sue the drug's manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline. The victims alleged that the GSK continued to market and sell Avandia even after it learned that the drug was dangerous.
It appears that GSK and the plaintiffs are in the process of settling the case. They have agreed to a settlement of $2.3 billion. When divided among the 40,000 victims who are part of the litigation, this amounts to over $57,000 per victim before legal fees.
When patients take medicine, they assume that the prescribed drugs will be safe. Patients have the right to expect that drugs will be thoroughly tested and that all information, even the potential dangers of a drug, will be fully divulged to the public.
However, pharmaceutical drug manufacturers can stand to make billions of dollars off of a single popular drug. This money provides a strong incentive for companies to ignore testing and other procedures that might suggest their drug is dangerous to users.
When a manufacturer chooses to put profits over public safety, patients injured by this action can seek compensation. The patients can be compensated for medical costs and pain and suffering associated with the injury. When a patient chooses to seek compensation, the lawsuit can also hold the pharmaceutical drug manufacturer responsible for disregarding health warnings and for profiting from a defective drug.
Source: wraltechwire.com, "Avandia patients who sued GSK to receive estimated $57,500 in settlements," Jan. 23, 2013