GlaxoSmithKline Welcomes Discussions According to Mediation Statement
Thursday, November, 10, 2011
A mediation statement issued by GlaxoSmithKline PLC this week has indicated that the pharmaceutical giant is willing to proceed to the mediation process in order to resolve patient lawsuits over Avandia, a drug marketed to people suffering from diabetes. The firm has already agreed to a $3 billion settlement over allegations that its marketing efforts on behalf of Avandia were illegal, but some lawsuits from individual patients remain.
According to U.S District Judge Cynthia Rufe, a mediation attorney has been appointed to preside over an unspecified number of cases that have been consolidated. Though the exact number is not known, industry insiders estimate that GSK probably faces around 20,000 remaining cases. Not all of these were consolidated by Judge Rufe; some have arisen in state courts around the nation.
Rufe established a deadline for resolving the cases, wanting to see at least 85% of them settled before 75 days have elapsed. Paul Kiesel, who represents residents from California who has had issues with Avandia commented that, “If we don’t make it within the time period, the judge will start fast-tracking cases for trial.”
Mediation Statement Hopeful
For its part, the biggest drug manufacturer in the United States issued a statement indicating that mediation might prove helpful. “GSK welcomes the court’s mediation order and looks forward to constructive discussions,” Bernadette King announced via email. King works as a spokesperson for GSK.
The drug mediations may be similar in some ways to medical malpractice mediation.