GSK Settles Suit Over Avandia Patient’s Heart Attack Death

GSK settles dangerous drugs suitBritish drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) recently settled a dangerous drugs lawsuit filed on behalf of a man who took the firm's diabetes drug, Avandia, and allegedly suffered a fatal heart attack as a result.

North Carolina man James Burford allegedly took Avandia for his diabetes for 15 months before dying of a heart attack in 2006 at the age of 49, according to Bloomberg. The plaintiffs' lawyers argued that GSK kept the drug on the market despite knowledge of its heart attack risks, and concealed studies conducted by regulators that pointed out a link between the diabetes medication and heart attacks.

Attorneys for the defense argued that diabetes sufferers face an increased risk of heart attack regardless of what drugs they take, and that the case brought by Burford's estate failed to make a conclusive link between Burford's heart attack and Avandia. 

The dangerous drugs lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed sum one day before the case was scheduled to go to trial, according to Reuters. If the drug company had not settled and the jury had found in the favor of the plaintiff in the trial, some analysts predicted, GSK may have had to pay a large award. The dangerous drugs lawsuit was the first of 2,000 dangerous drugs suits against GSK over Avandia that are scheduled to go to trial, according to Bloomberg.