Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been ordered to pay $3 million in damages to the widow of a 57-year-old man who committed suicide by jumping in front of a commuter train in 2010.
The victim had been taking the generic version of the antidepressant Paxil, created by GSK. The widow’s wrongful death lawsuit claims that the drug, known as paroxetine hydrochloride, contributed to her husband’s suicide and GSK failed to adequately warn consumers about the dangers of the drug.
The label included a “black box” warning about paroxetine, noting that it may increase the risk of suicidal behavior in patients under 25 years old.
However, the label did not warn of an increased risk of suicidal behavior in older patients. The lawsuit alleged that GSK should have warned about this because it knew that paroxetine increased the risk of suicide in older users by as much as 670 percent.
The plaintiff hopes the verdict will work to raise awareness among consumers of the dangers of paroxetine.
Glaxosmithkline Denies Responsibility
GSK representatives maintain the company is not responsible for the victim’s suicide because it did not manufacture or market the medication the victim consumed.
The generic form of Paxil is manufactured and distributed by Mylan, which was a defendant in the lawsuit when it was filed in 2012. However, a federal judge dismissed Mylan from the lawsuit in 2014 because GSK, not Mylan, was responsible for the design and labeling of brand-name and generic Paxil.
The labels on generic and name-brand Paxil are identical. However, GSK maintains that the drugs contained adequate warnings about the increased risk of suicidal behavior during the time period in question.
The pharmaceutical company intends to appeal the verdict.
Filing A Paxil Lawsuit
Pharmaceutical companies have a legal obligation to provide adequate warnings about the side effects and potential risks of the medications they produce, market and distribute. When they fail to do that, and patients die or suffer serious health issues, pharmaceutical companies could be held liable.
If you suffered severe or life-threatening side effects, or someone you love committed suicide, after taking generic or brand-name Paxil, you may be able to file a lawsuit against GSK.
The defective drug attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy work to hold manufacturers accountable for the harm their drugs have caused while attempting to recover fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.