The verdict is the first in 600 cases alleging that
London-based Glaxo knew Paxil caused birth defects and hid those risks to boost
million in sales last year, 2.1 percent of Glaxo‘s total revenue.
suffered life-threatening heart defects because she took Paxil while she was
pregnant with him.
Posted on Tue, Oct.
Glaxo must pay $2.5M in Paxil case
- By Miriam Hill
- INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
- GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. must pay $2.5 million to settle a
claim that its Paxil antidepressant caused severe heart defects in a
3-year-old Bensalem boy, a Philadelphia common pleas jury ruled
- The verdict is the first in 600 cases alleging that
London-based Glaxo knew Paxil caused birth defects and hid those risks to
- The drug, approved for U.S. use in 1992, generated about $942
million in sales last year, 2.1 percent of Glaxo‘s total
- London-based Glaxo has major operations in the Philadelphia
- Michelle David had claimed that her 3-year-old son Lyam
Kilker suffered life-threatening heart defects because she took Paxil while
she was pregnant with him.
- Glaxo issued a statement saying it disagrees with the verdict
and will appeal.
- “While we sympathize with Lyam Kilker and his family, the
scientific evidence does not establish that exposure to Paxil during pregnancy
caused his condition. Very unfortunately, birth defects occur in three to five
percent of all live births, whether or not the mother was taking medication
during pregnancy,” the company’s statement said.
- David and Kilker’s lawyers, Sean Tracey of Houston and Jamie
Sheller of the Philadelphia firm Sheller P.C., argued that Glaxo withheld
information from consumers and regulators about the risk of birth defects and
failed to properly test Paxil.
- “The first win is always huge, especially when you get a jury
saying the drug caused the injury,” Sean Tracey, Kilker’s lawyer, told
Bloomberg in an interview after the jury reached its decision.
- Glaxo‘s lawyer, Chilton Varner of King & Spalding in
Atlanta, countered that the company reported any sign of problems to federal
authorities. She had accused Tracey of cherry-picking sentences from
- During the trial, she also noted that Kilker, who underwent
several surgeries to fix his heart problems today “has no cardiac symptoms . .
.. is at preschool and runs and walks like an [almost] 4-year-old
- In its statement today, Glaxo said it “acted properly and
responsibly in conducting its clinical trial program for Paxil, including
sharing documentation and submitting results from studies on Paxil to
- Kilker will require more surgeries as he
- David was a former cheerleader for the Philadelphia
- The case was heard by Judge Stephen Levin in Common Pleas
- The FDA initially classified Paxil as a drug with no known
connections to birth defects. In 2005, the agency reclassified it as a drug
with some evidence of human fetal risk but allowed doctors to continue
prescribing it to women of childbearing age if the benefits outweigh the
- Contact staff writer Miriam Hill at 215-854-5520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This story contains information from Bloomberg
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