Jef Feeley and Margaret Cronin Fisk
December 14, 2009
GlaxoSmithKline Plc has paid almost $1 billion to resolve lawsuits over Paxil since it introduced the antidepressant in 1993, including about $390 million for suicides or attempted suicides said to be linked to the drug, according to court records and people familiar with the cases.
As part of the total, Glaxo, the U.K.’s largest drugmaker, so far has paid $200 million to settle Paxil addiction and birth-defect cases and $400 million to end antitrust, fraud and design claims, according to the people and court records.
The $1 billion “would be worse than many people are expecting,” said Navid Malik, an analyst at Matrix Corporate Capital in London. “I don’t think this is within the boundaries of current assumptions for analysts.”
The London-based company hasn’t disclosed the settlement total in company filings. It has made public some accords. Glaxo’s provision for legal and other non-tax disputes as of the end of 2008 was 1.9 billion pounds ($3.09 billion), according to its latest annual report. This included all legal matters, not just Paxil. The company said 112 million pounds of this sum would be “reimbursed by third-party issuers.”
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