GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. has agreed to pay $1 billion to settle more than 800 cases involving the antidepressant Paxil. The company had previously set aside $2.4 billion to settle pending and expected lawsuits over its drugs Paxil and Avandia. The settlements leave more than 100 cases pending on claims that the antidepressant Paxil caused birth defects in some users’ children. Hundreds of the Paxil cases were filed in Philadelphia. GlaxoSmithKline, based in the United Kingdom, has major operations in the United States. Avandia is, of course, a diabetes drug that has faced intense scrutiny at the FDA.
There are still about 100 Paxil birth defect cases still pending in the U.S. courts. The settlements have averaged in excess of $1.2 million for each family that brought a lawsuit against the manufacturer for alleged heart defects and other side effects suffered by their children. In October, a jury in Philadelphia ordered the drug manufacturer to pay $2.5 million to settle a claim that Paxil caused severe heart defects in a three-year-old boy.
Sources: Philly.com and LawyersandSettlements.com
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