Drug company settles heart attack lawsuit

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GlaxoSmithKline said it settled on the eve of trial a lawsuit alleging its Avandia diabetes drug caused a North Carolina man to die of a heart attack, avoiding a jury determination over risks associated with the medicine.

The U.K.’s biggest drugmaker resolved the suit by the family of James Burford, an Avandia user who died in 2006. The resolution eliminates the risk Glaxo would face a large jury award, said Navid Malik, a drug-industry analyst at Matrix Corporate Capital in London.

Investors worried it “could lead to substantial punitive damages,” Malik said in a Jan. 25 interview. The company has already agreed to pay almost half a billion dollars to resolve claims it hid the drug’s health risks. “GSK needs to successfully settle as many of these cases as possible.”


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