In the wake of GlaxoSmithKline’s announcement that the London-based company will pay the U.S. government $3 billion to settle civil and criminal charges over the illegal marketing of Avandia, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe is now pushing for the resolution of all remaining patient lawsuits over the medication.
To that end, Judge Rufe this week appointed a mediator to handle the settlement negotiations for an undisclosed number of Avandia cases, which were consolidated before her in Philadelphia. According to court filings, Rufe has also set a 75-day deadline for the resolution of at least 85 percent of the remaining cases. Should the court-appointed mediator be unable to facilitate the resolution of these cases within the time allotted, Rufe also announced that she will put 100 of the oldest cases into a trial pool and push for their presentation to jurors within 60 days.
Glaxo has already shelled-out more than $700 million to resolve approximately 10,000 cases of patient claims that Avandia caused adverse events such as heart attack and stroke. It is estimated that the pharmaceutical company still faces more than 20,000 cases involving the drug.