More than 20,000 Glaxo Claims Settled in Civil Mediation
Tuesday, February, 28, 2012
Drug manufacturing giant, GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to a civil mediation resolving over 20,000 claims against its diabetes pill, Avandia. Legal problems for Glaxo related to Avandia span back over a decade, and this settlement will possibly satisfy US District Judge Cynthia Rufe's 75 day deadline for resolving 85 % of Avandia related cases left over from last year.
Glaxo's Civil and Criminal Mediation History Over Avandia
Glaxo has been under investigation for illegally marketing Avandia and other medications. As it turns out, there was a strong enough basis for claims that this drug caused cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks and strokes. Glaxo has already consented to pay a minimum of $700 million for over 15,000 claims. In November, they announced that they would also pay $3 billion for the federal investigations into the legality of their advertising for Avandia and other drugs like Advair.
Sales for Avandia have dramatically dropped in the wake of the investigation and the ensuing restrictions. These federal probes were implemented to discover if Glaxo endorsed unapproved uses of their drugs and if they tried to downplay the risks associated with some of their drugs, including pressuring critics to silence.
Case Not Closed By Mediation Services—Yet
As yet, there is no clear settlement amount in this particular mediation. However, Glaxo representatives have indicated that they have the settlement amounts covered by their existing cash resources. It is also not clear if this process has satisfied Judge Rufe's 75-day deadline for resolving 85 % of the cases. What can be said is that at this time, no Avandia cases are being considered by a jury, which would happen if Rufe's deadline was not met.
Ultimately, what this mediation represents is that when both parties approach civil mediation in good faith, the matter can be resolved much more quickly than in trial.