Families in the UK face a long battle for compensation over the use of the controversial diabetes drug Avandia after GlaxoSmithKline said it will continue to contest claims from the relatives of people who died or where harmed by the medicine .
Despite agreeing to pay billions of dollars to settle similar claims in the US, the company has told solicitors of claimants in the UK in that it will continue to fight cases in court even though it has already admitted concealing data about the prescription drug’s potentially harmful side effects.
Solicitors fear that by taking cases to court rather than settling outside, as GSK has done in the US, it could take years before claimants (if successful) receive any sort of compensation.
Avandia (rosiglitazone) was made available on the NHS in 2000 for people suffering from type 2 diabetes who were unable to control their blood glucose levels with standard first-line drugs.
However, in 2010 the tablet medication had its European licence revoked after evidence emerged from various studies that showed it significantly increased the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure and death. At the time there were around 90,000 people taking the drug in the UK.
Avandia has been estimated to be responsible for 100,000 heart attacks in America alone. It is banned in most markets across the globe, including the UK, but is still available in the US to patients who are not at risk of heart problems .

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