A large group of over 90 people who took diabetes drug, <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/avandia">Avandia, have filed a lawsuit against the maker of the controversial medication, GlaxoSmithKline. The 14-count lawsuit seeks over $700,000, including costs, legal fees, and other relief.
The Madison St. Clair Record reported that the plaintiffs allege that Glaxo should not have sold Avandia without including warnings about its significant side effects, such as heart attacks and congestive heart failure. In some cases, plaintiffs are representing their deceased relatives.
Avandia belongs to a class of diabetes drugs called thiazolidinediones that lower blood sugar by decreasing insulin resistance. Avandia has been associated with serious and sometimes deadly side effects and, last year, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) placed severe restrictions on the sale of Avandia after it was shown to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Avandiaâ€™s label has included a black box warning regarding heart attacks since 2007.
In this lawsuit, Barbara Meier, the lead plaintiff, and 93 other plaintiffs filed a complaint against both the Glaxo and McKesson Corporation, said The Madison St. Clair Record. The suit was filed May 19 in St. Clair County and states that the plaintiffs allege they used Avandia in their treatment for Type 2 diabetes mellitus, but suffered serious injuries as a result of taking the medication, wrote The Madison St. Clair Record. The plaintiffs allege that before being prescribed Avandia that Glaxo and McKesson were aware that Avandia was linked with a 51 percent increased risk of cardiovascular problems, said The Madison St. Clair Record.
Despite their awareness, the plaintiffs allege, GlaxoSmithKline and McKesson issued no warnings about Avandiaâ€™s dangers until its label was changed on August 14, 2007, The Madison St. Clair Record reported. The drug label was changed again on November 19, 2007 with a warning about potential myocardial ischemia risks. The plaintiffs allege that they had all started treatment with Avandia before the labels were changed.
The plaintiffs state they suffered cardiovascular injuries, such as heart attacks and congestive heart failure and underwent pain and suffering, they lost significant money over not being able to work and accrued medical costs, they suffered permanent disability and permanent disfigurement and they can not longer enjoy their lives, said The Madison St. Clair Record.
Glaxo and McKesson should have provided the warnings prior to the FDAâ€™s mandate, say the plaintiffs, especially given that it is known that diabetics typically suffer from risk factors that increase the likelihood for heart attack and stroke, noted The Madison St. Clair Record; the defendants never sufficiently tested Avandia, the complaint alleges. Had testing been conducted, the appropriate warning labels would have been mandated when the drug was first released to market. Instead, Glaxo marketed Avandia extensively, the suit alleges. Sadly, by the time they were taking Avandia, safer medications were available. Instead of warning its customers of risks, Glaxo promoted Avandia in an extensive mass media advertising campaign, the suit states.
Meanwhile, recent studies have also linked Avandia to increased risks for diabetic macular edema, a serious eye disorder that can lead to blindness.