GlaxoSmithKline Pays Settlement for Diabetic Drug Which Increased Heart Attacks

GlaxoSmithKline settled allegations against them by 37 states and the District of Columbia for not fully disclosing side effects of the diabetic drug Avandia.

The Senate Finance Committe issued a report in February, 2010, cliaming the Avandia drug was linked with tens of thousands of heart attacks and that GlaxoSmithKline knew of this risk for years but did not disclose the information.  The U.S. government, through Medicare and Medicaid medical insurance, does pay for medical care and experiences an increase in costs when drugs such as Avandia cause additional medical problems.

GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay $90 million to be divided among the 37 states and D.C.  The Cleveland Clinic has been one of the harshest critics of the drug and Dr. Steven Nissen, of Cleveland Clinic stated:  "this was a very sad saga in American medical history."  Dr. Nissen published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that found a 43% increase in the risk of a heart attack in patients taking this diabetes drug.

State attorney generals hope that this judgement against GlaxoSmithKline will help make drug companies more responsible in the future to be mindful of perhaps promoting all feature of a drug instead of just focusing on profits.  States receiving the $90 million aer:  Arizona, Florida, illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and D.C.

Seniors often take a long list of medications and this is a reminder of the  importance of understanding all of the side effects of a medication along with monitoring how one drug may impact another.  Senior caregivers can organize a senior's list of medications and ask their pharmacist to examine them to make sure they are compatible.

As seniors often go to different specialty doctors for medical care, the pharmacist is the best person for monitoring that all medications go together as many times medical doctors are so busy they do not have time to adequately analyze all of the medications and sometimes are not savvy about the side effects of medications that they do not prescribe.

Caregiver training for senior caregivers includes understanding how to effectively monitor medications and side effects of medications.  The Caregiverlist Certified Caregiver training offers a 10-hour online training coures meeting industry standards for caregiving skills.


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