Wednesday, December 05, 2012
More Paxil Birth Defect Woes for Glaxo
It would appear that GlaxoSmithKline have some sort of sick fetish for courtrooms or battling against consumers who complain about their antidepressant, Paxil [Known as Seroxat in Europe and Aropax in the southern hemisphere]
It's just been announced that Canada has been given the green light to attempt to seek justice for its first national class action lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Paxil, which is alleged to have caused birth defects in children born to women who took it during pregnancy.
Representative plaintiff, Faith Gibson, took Paxil during her pregnancy throughout 2004. On September [same year] her daughter, Meah Bartram, was born with a hole in the heart.
The class action, given the thumbs up by The Supreme Court of British Columbia, will see lawyers argue that GlaxoSmithKline knew or ought to have known of the risks and failed to provide adequate and timely warning to doctors and the public.
The Supreme Court green light can be viewed, in full below:
Judge Smith, N., Re Bartram v. GlaxoSmithKline Inc., 12-03
In 2009, Glaxo went head to head with the family of Lyam Kilker, who had also been born with heart defects after his mother had ingested Paxil throughout her pregnancy. Glaxo lost, appealled, then, it's assumed, settled.
It is believed that a further 800 cases against Glaxo were, for the most part, settled by GlaxoSmithKline.
What was striking about the Kilker case was it highlighted how Glaxo knew about Paxil causing birth defects early on. During the trial it was revealed, via a a company memo, that Glaxo talked about burying negative studies. Bonnie Rosello, an executive for Glaxo at the time, had written, “If neg, results can bury.”
Despite this, Glaxo claimed that Lyam Kilker's heart defect wasn’t caused by Paxil.
Further evidence revealed in the Kilker trial showed how Glaxo, who purchased the paroxetine compound from a Danish company, Ferrosan, in 1980, had noted in internal documents that Paxil rat studies suggested Paxil “could be” a cause of birth defects. Armed with this information Glaxo refused for almost 20 years to do studies on why the young rats died.
Yet more evidence showed how, in 2001, Glaxo recieved a letter from a woman who used Paxil during her pregnancy and decided to abort her fetus after tests showed it had birth defects. An internal report by Glaxo regarding this woman concluded that it was “almost certain” the fetus’s birth defects were caused by his Paxil.
All court documents from the Kilker trial can be viewed here. The jury awarded $2.5 million to Lyam Kilker's mom, Michelle David, for past and future medical expenses for her son.