Cresskill, NJ: Attorneys representing plaintiffs suing GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) over the drug Avandia’s side effects have resolved their dispute about sharing fees of $142 million. Over 50,000 lawsuits were filed in US state and federal courts citing GlaxoSmithKline’s failure to inform type-2-diabetes patients about Avandia’s potentially life-threatening side effects: heart attack and failure, stroke, bone fractures, vision loss, and death. The litigation has taken over ten years, with the lead attorneys alone logging more than 60,000 hours. Yet none of the plaintiffs’ attorneys have received any compensation for their time or out-of-pocket expenses. RD Legal Funding is now making immediate post-settlement financing available to ease the Avandia plaintiff’s attorneys’ financial burdens.
The FDA approved the use of rosiglitazone—marketed as Avandia—for the treatment of type-2-diabetes in 1999. Tens of millions of prescriptions were written for the drug which may have caused between 60,000 and 200,000 heart attacks and deaths due to cardiovascular problems in the US alone.
- 2001: GSK receives an FDA reprimand letter regarding false and misleading comments made by sales representatives about Avandia to an undercover investigator.
- 2005: GSK’s draft analysis of Avandia clinical data indicates heart risks. The company modifies Avandia labels, but the warnings are not prominently displayed and do not adequately convey potential health hazards.
- 2007: The New England Journal of Medicine reports that Avandia users face a 43 percent higher risk of heart attack or other cardiovascular events and over 60% increase in the risk of cardiovascular death. Avandia profits in 2007 are $3.2 billion.
- 2007: Congressional hearings review when information about Avandia heart attack risks was available and why it was not disclosed to the public earlier. The FDA mandates a black box warning about Avandia heart attack risks.
- 2008: An FDA report implicates Avandia in an estimated 83,000 heart attacks.
- September 2010: Avandia is banned in several European countries but remains on the US market.
- 2010: GSK pays a $2.36 billion charge to settle 10,000 of 13,000 Avandia US civil lawsuits, investigations over its antidepressant Paxil, and manufacturing problems in its Puerto Rico plant.
- November 2011: GSK agrees to pay the US government $3 billion to resolve civil and criminal investigations alleging that the company had paid doctors and manipulated medical research to promote Avandia. A mediator is appointed to resolve the bulk of the pending MDL cases.
- January 2012: A committee of eight Avandia plaintiffs’ attorneys is charged with drafting the fee allocation plan for 58 lawyers and firms, with the total amount to be distributed set at 6.25 percent of the total settlement.
- July 2012: GSK pleads guilty to withholding safety data on Avandia.
- November 2012: GSK agrees to pay $90 million to settle the claims of 37 states and the District of Columbia.
- November 2012: The committee submits its fee-sharing agreement which is disputed by nine attorneys. Bruce P. Merenstein is appointed as special master.
- January 22, 2013: A modified plan, agreed to by the nine objectors, is filed in PA federal court.
Avandia plaintiffs’ attorneys are urged to contact RD Legal Funding, whose unique fee acceleration program will provide them with settlement financing within several days, with no monthly interest or principal payments, as well as no upfront points or fees. No payment of any kind is required until the attorney’s settlement fee is received. RD Legal Funding is one of the nation’s leading providers of post-settlement financing. For more information call 800-565-5177 or visit http://www.legalfunding.com.