Two patients from North Carolina who suffer from the disabling condition of diabetes have filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline alleging that Avandia, a diabetes pill produced by the pharmaceutical company, caused them to suffer heart attacks.


Fifty-one-year-old Hope Mills resident Mary Massey and 70-year-old Hertford resident Era Gordon are among hundreds of people suffering from the disabling condition of diabetes who are seeking compensation for health problems experienced after the use of Avandia.


According to the patients, GSK was negligent in its failure to adequately warn them of the cardiovascular risks of using the pill.


The suit alleges that GSK was aware of Avandia’s dangerous effects because of the trials the company performed but failed to take action to correct the problems or adequately warn consumers. The suit alleges that GSK instead “suppressed and failed to disclose these dangers.”


In May of 2007, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study which revealed data linking Avandia to increased risk of heart attacks. Since the time of the study’s publishing, prescriptions for Avandia have seen a decline of more than 50 percent. In 2006, the drug generated about $3 billion in sales across the world.


Immediately, attorneys began to solicit clients among the estimated 18 million people in the U.S. who are diabetes patients. The first suits were filed within a month with thousands more expected to follow.


Massey and Gordon’s suit was initially filed in Durham County, but has since been moved to a federal court in Greensboro.

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