"Regarding Avandia, there was an Avandia settlement for $60 million that covered approximately 700 clients," Stewart says. "That settlement only affected those 700 clients. Now, GlaxoSmithKline has put up another settlement fund of $400 million, so now the total settlement fund is $460 million."
According to an article in The New York Times (07/15/10), GlaxoSmithKline agreed to settle 10,000 lawsuits for around $460 million, which works out to approximately $46,000 per claimant, depending on the severity of each person's damages.
Although that additional $400 million may sound like a lot of money, once that settlement fund has run out, it is gone for good and there is no guarantee that GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Avandia, will add more funds for Avandia settlements. So patients who believe they have suffered Avandia side effects but are waiting for further funding before filing their claim could wind up receiving nothing.
READ MORE AVANDIA LEGAL NEWS
The good news is that it is not too late to bring an Avandia claim. But there are limited funds in the settlement account and there could be thousands of people still waiting to file a claim against that fund.
"There may be additional moneys coming in regarding Avandia, but some people think they can just sit and wait to see if more comes in," Stewart says. "It may happen, but they're gambling on it and it might not happen at all."
Avandia remains available on the market but with restrictions on its use. Patients and doctors must show they have been made aware of the serious potential of Avandia side effects before they can use it, and Avandia is to be used only if other medications have been unsuccessful