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Avandia was developed by GlaxoSmithKline as an antidiabetic drug. It is also known as it’s generic name Rosiglitazone. It was very successful as an insulin sensitizer and became one of the best selling drugs in the world and used by over 6 million people. But concerns over the side effects led to a decrease in its use. Despite the concerns over potential heart attacks, the drug continues to be sold in the United States. However, Rosiglitazone must be prescribed and there are significant restrictions as to its use.
Today Avandia can only be used by new patients who find that they are unable to control their glucose on any other medication. The European Medical Agency issued a recall on the drug because it was discovered that more severe restrictions was not enough to stop the potential damage to the heart. Even with all the potential risks, the drug continues to be available in the United States.
There are a number of side effects that are now associated with this pharmaceutical drug. These include upper respiratory infections, headaches and back pain. Less common side effects include trouble breathing, weight gain and vision changes. All of these side effects have been found to be either very rare or relatively minor.
The major side effect that has been linked to the drug is the increased risk of cardiovascular events, such as stroke or heart attack. It is estimated that as many as 100,000 heart attacks in the United States have been linked to Avandia. Some studies found that the drug can increase the risk of heart attack by 43% and double the risk of heart failure after just one year of use. The risk of cardiovascular death also increased by as much as 64% with Avandia use.
Heart attacks and heart failure are very different. Heart attacks occur when blood flow to a section of the heart becomes blocked. If the blockage isn’t treated quickly the heart muscle will die. Heart attacks can be mild or they can be lethal and long term damage can be caused to the heart. Heart failure occurs when the heart is not able to pump enough blood to sustain the body. This causes fluid to accumulate in other organs. If untreated, the heart failure will affect every organ in the body. If treated the survival rate is 70 to 80 percent.
Today the drug continues to be sold and used by patients who struggle to control their Type 2 diabetes. However, the FDA is reviewing whether or not additional steps should be taken to ensure the safety of Avandia users.
The high risks associated with Avandia have led to thousands of people using a qualified attorney to file personal injury lawsuits. If you feel that you have experienced any cardiovascular or other serious complication as a result of Avandia, you should immediately seek the assistance of a qualified lawyer.
Compensation for Avandia Lawsuits
While there is no guarantee that someone who suffered a heart attack while taking the drug will receive compensation, over 13,000 lawsuits have been filed regarding Rosiglitazone. More than 11,000 of these lawsuits have reached settlements with GlaxoSmithKline, so it is essential to get a qualified law firm to represent you or a loved one affected by this drug.
In 2010, GlaxoSmithKline reportedly paid out $60 million in order to settle 700 lawsuits regarding the cardiovascular risks associated with taking Avandia. The settlement was reached between GlaxoSmithKline and two law firms that were representing hundreds of clients. The compensation breaks down to about $86,000 per person in the law firm.
The lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline allege that the company did not adequately research the drug or properly inform users about the potential serious side effects. The claims have proven to be true as the company agreed to pay $460 million to settle 10,000 different lawsuits regarding Avandia. Therefore, it is essential that you contact an experienced attorney if you feel that you or a loved one was harmed by Avandia.
Individuals are not the only people that are seeking compensation against GlaxoSmithKline; Humana also sought compensation for medical payouts on clients who were harmed by Avandia. GlaxoSmithKline appealed the ruling that allowed Humana to sue the pharmaceutical company but the Supreme Court allowed the suit. This allows for medical insurers who paid out medical expenses to patients who suffered heart attacks or heart failure, may also seek compensation for the money they spent on insurance claims.
Today the battle over compensation has reached the United Kingdom where a new round of Avandia users has suffered from heart attacks or heart failure due to the drug.
Statute of Limitations
When it comes to the statute of limitations on pharmaceutical drugs, the process can be quite tricky. GlaxoSmithKline attempted to have 60 cases dismissed on the basis of the statute of limitations. The company believed that the statute began to run in May 2007, at the time when the study was published linking Avandia to cardiovascular problems. This would mean that the cases filed in 2011 would have exceeded the statute of limitations.
However, those filing the lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline argued that they were not aware of the study in 2007. Under the “discovery rule” the statute of limitations does not start to run until the time when the individual was aware of the link between their medical problems and the drug. The rule does allow for a period in which a reasonable person would have been aware of link, meaning that the statute does not last forever. As cases regarding Avandia become more and more prevalent and well known, the statute of limitations will begin to run, as reasonable people would have noticed the link.
For that reason it is important to find an experienced attorney that can ensure that the statute of limitations does not run our on your case and that you will be able to seek compensation from GlaxoSmithKline. If you believe that you or a loved one suffered as a result of taking Avandia then your first step should be to a qualified lawyer to go over your case. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better because you do not want the statute of limitations to run out on you before you get the compensation you deserve.
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