"In Sept of 2002, my father (age 71) had a fatal cardiac episode. He was driving down the street with my mother when they pulled to the side of the road to get their bearings from a road sign. When Mom had the right directions, she told my father to continue driving. When she looked over, he was rolled back in his seat, with his foot on the brake. He was in cardiac arrest.
Just moments before, a police officer was involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident nearby and the closest resources (ambulance and fire engine) were not available. By the time the emergency responders arrived on the scene, my father had been unconscious for more than six minutes. My father's cardiac rhythm was ventricular fibrillation, which is a quivering of the heart muscle - not enough to move blood through the body. My father's rhythm was converted to a normal sinus rhythm en route to the hospital while my colleagues (I am an EMT2 9 - emergency medical technician) tried everything they could to revive him. My father spent two weeks on a ventilator as we stood by and watched his health deteriorate. When we knew that there was no hope for survival, we made the decision to remove him from life support.
About a year after his death, my mother called and told me to watch the Advair commercials very closely. At the end of the commercial, in a very fast and low voice, there was the warning: "Advair can cause a change in the heart rhythm."
It was then that we realized what had happened. My father did not have a heart attack; rather, his heart rhythm changed from a normal sinus rhythm to ventricular-fibrillation.
When I started looking into the warnings that Glaxo puts out, there it was. Buried deep in their literature was this warning:
Cardiovascular: Arrhythmias (including atrial fibrillation, extrasystoles, supraventricular tachycardia), ventricular tachycardia. Not the more fatal ventricular fibrillation or asystole.
I was angry and I called Glaxo. I don't really know what I was going to say, and as it turned out, it really didn't matter because they refused to return my phone calls or email.
I then decided to call the FDA and see what recourse we had. They admitted that Advair is killing people, but there haven't been enough deaths to warrant taking it off of the market at this time!
Most people are concerned with the exacerbation of asthma that seems to be caused by taking Advair (Glaxo's own warnings) but it seems that fewer people, including the manufacturers of Advair, don't seemed to be too concerned with the fact that Advair can cause a change in the heart rhythm.
These warnings are not written for the average person to comprehend. They are embedded in the literature that is meant for the pharmacist or physician. The written warnings in the box that my father received did not come right out and tell him that this medication could kill him, or he would have never taken it.
My father was a very caring man who dedicated himself to the Boy Scouts. It was an organization that he didn't get an opportunity to participate in as a child, so he did what he could as an adult to make their lives just a little bit better. The community is a better place because of the lives that my father touched."
Dave Connors talked to LawyersandSettlements.com not because he is concerned about the statute of limitations. Rather, he "just wants to make people aware of this dangerous drug. One of the doctors at the hospital told me that people die from this type of arrhythmia all the time and they can't tie it to anything."
Maybe when the statute of limitations is up regarding Dave's father, Glaxo will return his call.