As part of an effort to resolve their Paxil® litigation, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has reportedly agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle hundreds of Paxil birth defect lawsuits.
What’s the problem?
July 29, 2010 – This month, GSK reached an agreement to “settle certain cases involving the use of Paxil during pregnancy.” Bloomberg news reports that $2.4 billion was set aside to settle outstanding liabilities including the settlement of Paxil birth defect lawsuits brought by parents who say that use of the antidepressant during pregnancy caused persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN) or other problems. GSK has refused to confirm the $1.14 billion settlement, and has given no details about how the set aside will be spent.
There are an estimated 800 Paxil lawsuits filed against the drugmaker as part of a mass tort in Philadelphia, all involving allegations that the company failed to warn consumers and doctors that use of Paxil during pregnancy could lead to congenital heart defects in newborns. The lawsuits also claim that the company hid test results and purposefully misled doctors.
Birth Defects Linked to Antidepressants
Over the last several years, information has been emerging that certain antidepressants may cause cardiac, pulmonary, neural-tube and other birth defects including (but not limited to):
- Atrial Septal Defects (ASD) – also known as ‘hole in the heart’ defects
- Ventral Septal Defects (VSD) – hole in the heart wall
- Valve Problems – malformed or stuck and won’t close
- Tricuspid Valve (Ebstein’s Anomaly)
- Mitral Valve
- Transposition of the Great Arteries / Vessels
- Tetralogy of the Fallot
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
- Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS)
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Aortic Stenosis
- Pulmonary Atresia
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Tricuspid Valve Stenosis
- Heart Murmur
- Pulmonary Stenosis
- Craniosynostosis – cranial skull defect
- Omphalocele – abdominal wall defect
- Gastroschisis – abdominal wall defect
- Esophageal Stenosis
- Club Foot
- Anal Atresia
- Spina Bifida