Illinois product liability attorneys should be aware that Avandia, a diabetes drug, is now linked to a higher risk of heart attack and heart failure according to a report released by the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 20, 2010. The report authored by the committee chaired by Senators Baucus and Grassley concluded:
"The totality of evidence suggests that GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) was aware of the possible cardiac risks associated with Avandia years before such evidence became public....Based on this knowledge, GSK had a duty to sufficiently warn patients and the FDA of its concerns in a timely manner. Instead, GSK executives intimidated independent physicians, focused on strategies to minimize findings that Avandia may increase cardiovascular risk, and sought ways to downplay findings that the rival drug ACTOS (pioglitazone) might reduce cardiovascular risk."
According to recently released reports by the FDA if every diabetic taking Avandia were instead given a similar drug named Actos, about 500 heart attacks and 300 heart failures would be averted every month because Avandia can hurt the heart. Dr. David Graham and Dr. Kate Gelperin of the FDA stated in a report: "Rosiglitazone (Avandia) should be removed from the market."
Senator Max Baucus chairman of the Finance Committee said: "Americans have a right to know there are serious health risks associated with Avandia and GlaxoSmithKline had a responsibility to tell them. Patients trust drug companies with their health and lives and GlaxoSmithKline abused that trust." The first study to disclose the Avandia heart risk was released by the New England Journal of Medicine on May 21, 2007. The Senate report states that the FDA estimated in July 2007, that Avandia has been linked to 83,000 heart attacks since it was put on the market.
Currently most litigation is in federal court since GlaxoSmithKline is a British corporation and the cases have been consolidated for purposes of discovery in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvnia. Victims are still entitled to file the litigation in the federal court where they took the medication, but discovery will take place under the auspices of the federal judge in the federal court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Now that evidence exists that GSK failed to warn of known risks of Avandis for years the prospect for success in Avandia litigation has increeased substantially. If you, a family member, or friend has had a heart attack while taking Avandia you should promptly consult with an attorney well versed in handling product liability litigation. Should you so choose feel free to contact Edmund Scanlan at 877-494-1309.