GSK agrees to pay $60m in Avandia lawsuits

Settlement expected to resolve more than 700 lawsuits.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to pay approximately $60m to resolve its first lawsuits alleging its diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) causes heart attacks and strokes in some patients.

The settlement is expected to resolve more than 700 lawsuits related to Avandia. Currently, there are around 4,000 cases that are yet to follow. The officials of GSK said that they are continuing to prepare for trials over Avandia scheduled for this year, reported Business Week.

Avandia is a prescription tablet available in 2 mg, 4 mg and 8 mg strength and comes in packets of 28s. Earlier, on May 25, 1999, the FDA approved Avandia to be used in conjunction with diet and exercise to improve glycemic control.

Analysts believe that GSK may have to pay as much as $6bn in liability related to Avandia and there is a risk that US regulators may force the drug to be removed from the market.