According to a new report by Bloomberg News, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) may have paid out more than $120 million in Poligrip zinc poisoning lawsuits to individuals who allegedly suffered serious neurological injuries after using the denture adhesive. To date, GSK has settled more than 100 Poligrip lawsuits at an average cost of just over $1 million per case.
What’s the problem?
May 6, 2011 – New reports of Poligrip denture cream lawsuit settlements bring the total paid out by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to over $120 million, according to a report published this week by Bloomberg News. All of these claims were reportedly brought on behalf of individuals who claim to have suffered extensive nerve damage because of the zinc contained in Poligrip products.
All federal denture cream zinc poisoning lawsuits have been centralized before Judge Cecilia M. Altnoaga in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for pretrial litigation. The action to consolidate the complaints was taken to avoid duplicate discovery and inconsistent pretrial rulings.
Side Effects of Poligrip
According to numerous reports and mounting scientific evidence, excessive amounts of zinc found in Poligrip can enter the body and lead to permanent and debilitating conditions. Approximately 35 million people (the majority of whom are elderly) wear dentures in the U.S. alone, making the percentage of people at risk for side effects frighteningly high. If not detected and treated early, zinc poisoning can lead to permanent effects including:
- copper deficiency (hypocupremia)
- loss of sensation
- loss of balance
- difficulty breathing
GSK Pulls Poligrip Products from U.S. Market
In February 2010, GSK announced that it would voluntarily stop manufacturing, marketing, and advertising Super Poligrip ‘Original,’ ‘Extra Care,’ & ‘Ultra Fresh’ due to the risk of zinc poisoning. The company maintains that the products are safe when used as directed, but may become toxic when used in excessive amounts. GSK stated that it halted production of the Poligrip products as a precautionary measure to minimize any potential health risk to the public.