Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline have agreed to settle a lawsuit in the US for its controversial diabetes drug Avandia before the case came to court. The lawsuit was brought by the family of James Burford, an Avandia user who died in 2006.
However, Glaxo have refused to provide details of the settlement, and continue to argue that the best-selling drug is safe, despite it being associated with the increased risk of heart attacks in a 2007 study, saying that it “continues to stand behind the safety and efficacy of Avandia when used appropriately and according to its label.”
Glaxo have carried out clinical trials that support their claim, although European regulators recommended in 2010 that Avandia should be taken off the market, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US placing restrictions on its selling.
In settling the lawsuit, the company commented “There are many circumstances where a company may determine to resolve certain matters in order to avoid the inherent risks and significant costs of litigation.”
Glaxo had reportedly set aside billions of pounds to cover the legal disputes arising from the drug, and disclosed a GBP1.57 billion charge to cover lawsuits last July, before putting a further GBP2.2 billion aside in December, some of which was in regard to Avandia.

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