A Minnesota federal judge has approved a $40 million settlement between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and a number of insurance companies. The drug manufacturer has agreed to reimburse the insurers that covered purchases of the antidepressant drug Paxil for children. GSK faces a number of class actions charging that the pharmaceutical manufacturer promoted Paxil for adolescents and children even though clinical studies found the drug increased suicide risks in younger patients.
The settlement, approved by U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis, applies to insurance firms and other third parties that covered the purchases of Paxil for patients under 18 between January 1, 1998, and December 31, 2004. Class members would be refunded for up to 40% of their actual cost of Paxil if they provide proof that the patient was diagnosed with a severe depressive disorder and was prescribed Paxil or Paxil CR.
The original claims were filed in four class actions in California, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. The settlement is the second phase of litigation against GSK over Paxil use for children. Last year, the company paid almost $64 million to settle claims of parents who sought reimbursement for the costs of paying for the drug prescriptions.
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