From: john on

Santa Clara County sues Glaxo over diabetes drug

March 01, 2010 3:12 PM

SAN JOSE (AP) � A Northern California county has filed suit against
GlaxoSmithKline accusing the pharmaceutical company of suppressing evidence
that its diabetes drug Avandia causes increased risk of heart attacks.

The lawsuit filed by Santa Clara County seeks restitution for all Avandia
purchasers in California claiming the company violated state
false-advertising statutes.

"GSK's unlawful conduct has cost patients, their insurers, and government
payors millions of dollars, and it has caused needless suffering to
thousands of Californians," said Santa Clara County's acting county counsel
Miguel Marquez. "This is precisely the sort of corporate malfeasance that
California law prohibits."

County officials say their lawsuit is the first by a government entity
against the company over Avandia. It was filed in U.S. District Court,
Northern California District, on Friday.

The company, which is based in London, says the lawsuit has no merit and
that scientific evidence shows the FDA-approved drug doesn't increase heart
attack risk.

The lawsuit follows the release of a U.S. Senate report last month charging
that Glaxo minimized Avandia's safety risks and withheld data from the Food
and Drug Administration.

Senators said the Senate Finance Committee's report was based on
researchers' studies of Avandia, internal GlaxoSmithKline documents and FDA
documents.