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glaxo smithcline

Post by cymbalta on Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:04 am

A lawyer representing a plaintiff suing GlaxoSmithKline told a Philadelphia jury that the company failed to adequately warn consumers that Paxil could cause birth defects, Bloomberg reported. In an opening statement, the plaintiff's lawyer stated that "the warnings and instructions [on the drug] put out in 1995 weren’t appropriate and reasonable."

The lawyer said the drugmaker had research from the 1980s demonstrating that Paxil caused deaths among the offspring of animals, but didn’t provide clear warnings about these on the drug's label. However, GlaxoSmithKline lawyer Chilton Varner told jurors that Paxil’s label "contained all the knowledge it had as of 1995," the year that the plaintiff's mother became pregnant, about the risks posed to pregnant women. Varner added that the most likely cause of the heart defects suffered by the plaintiff were genetic factors or due to the fact that the pregnancy occurred late in the mother's life.

To date, GlaxoSmithKline has paid more than $2 billion to resolve litigation related to Paxil, including claims that the drug caused suicides in some users. The case is the first to go to trial since the drugmaker agreed in July to settle a number of lawsuits related to the drug, with reports suggesting that the company paid more than $1 billion to settle approximately 800 cases.

The drugmaker still faces further Paxil lawsuits, but law professor Carl Tobias noted that the company "probably feels it had to litigate this case to send a signal that it’s not going to settle every one of these birth-defect cases, especially if they are weak." GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman, Sarah Alspach, declined to say how many Paxil birth-defect cases remain outstanding in the US, although she noted there are 15 lawsuits scheduled for trial next year in Philadelphia.

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