Even for a flush drugmaker like GlaxoSmithKline, $2.4 billion dollars is a lot of money to wipe off the books in a single quarter.
Bottles of Avandia diabetes pills are seen at Jack’s Pharmacy on May 21, 2007, in San Anselmo, Calif.
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Yet, just hours after a panel of U.S. experts voted in favor of keeping Glaxo’s diabetes pill Avandia on the market, despite known heart risks, that’s what the drugmaker said it would do in its second quarter.
All that money wil go to cover the cost of a bunch of legal problems, including the settlement of lawsuits over harm allegedly linked to Avandia.
The company said “the substantial majority of the product liability cases relating to Avandia have now been settled.” Glaxo hasn’t disclosed how much money that involves. But Bloomberg reported the company has already agreed to pay about $460 million to put those cases to rest.
It could have been worse. Before the meeting of experts advising the Food and Drug Administration on Avandia concluded Tuesday, some analysts figured the Avandia costs could run as high as $6 billion, Reuters reported.