UK families gear up for court battle with diabetes drug maker GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is facing a handful of lawsuits in the UK over Avandia, a diabetes drug that has been linked to heart attacks and congestive heart failure.

But after doling out more than $3 billion to settle similar cases in the US, GSK doesn't seem to be prepared to offer Britain residents the same compensation.

David Daley, a UK GSK spokesman, said the company can't comment on specific cases, but that they have “every sympathy for people with health complications associated with diabetes.”

Four cases are currently under review by Express Solicitors, a UK law firm, and a dozen or so more are expected to be taken by the firm.

Thousands in the UK may have taken Avandia

“We expect the number of claims to increase as there are potentially thousands of people out there who took Avandia in the U.K.,” Daniel Slade, an Express Solicitors lawyer, told Bloomberg News. “Hopefully these claims will lead to more careful studies and checks on drugs that are widely marketed.”

Slade believes that numerous families could be eligible to receive compensation for a relative's Avandia-related health complications or death.

Avandia was pulled from the European market in September of 2010.

Daley concluded, "We continue to believe that the company acted appropriately and responsibly in its management of Avandia."

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg News

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