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Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices News & Commentary on Prescription Drug & Medical Device Lawsuits

Avandia Lawsuit Settlements Average $46,000

Posted in Misc. Drugs

There are still thousands of Avandia lawsuits pending, but apparently 10,000 of them will be settled:

On Tuesday, Glaxo agreed to pay $460 million to settle thousands of lawsuits over Avandia, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the settlements.

Glaxo will settle about 10,000 suits for an average of $46,000 each, Bloomberg said. A source familiar with the litigation told Reuters that at least 2,500 claims out of as many as 14,000 have been settled

Source: U.S. advisers say keep Glaxo diabetes drug on market | Reuters

Personally, I think $46,000 is a little low for someone who suffered a heart attack as an Avandia side effect.  Of course, the reason the settlements are in that low dollar range is likely because plaintiffs are having a hard time proving what’s called specific causation.

In order to win any Avandia lawsuit, you need to prove general causation and specific causation.  General causation is proving that Avandia is capable of causing a heart attack.  Specific causation is proving that Avandia caused your heart attack.  Proving general causation is always easier than proving specific causation.  Especially if the person who suffered the heart attack also had other risk factors for a heart attack, such as being overweight, high cholesterol, etc.

Still, GSK must be worried that at least some plaintiffs can prove specific causation, otherwise it wouldn’t be spending half a billion dollars to settle these cases.