AstraZeneca is to stop researching some disease areas that form the backbone of its current business — including schizophrenia and acid reflux — in a drive to focus R&D efforts and cut costs.
GlaxoSmithKline has paid out close to $1 billion to resolve lawsuits involving Paxil since the drug came on the market in 1992, according to a December 14, 2009 Bloomberg report. But the billion dollars does not cover the more than 600 Paxil birth defect cases currently pending in multi-litigation in Pennsylvania.
With drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) now stating it will abandon future antidepressant research, one can only wonder if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted GSK’s CEO Andrew Witty’s admission that it is “hard to prove that a depression drug is working” because “patient improvement is measured by subjective mood surveys, and not by the clear-cut blood tests and biological measures used in other diseases.”
GlaxoSmithKline PLC said it will stop research into new antidepressants and focus on diseases for which it believes it can develop more valuable drugs, a major shift for a company that developed some of the biggest-selling antidepressants of the past 20 years.
Michelle David filed a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, alleging the company’s antidepressant, Paxil was responsible for her son’s birth defects. David said she had taken Paxil while pregnant and was not aware of the potential side effects. The jury also found that Paxil was a factual cause of the little boy’s heart problems. David was awarded $2.5 million.