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Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, Guilford & Schiavo vs. Glaxo Smithkline Corporation


LA judge denies class action for Glaxo Paxil suit


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A U.S. judge in Los Angeles on Monday denied a request to certify as a class action a lawsuit claiming that GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s (GSK) anti-depressant Paxil is habit-forming.

U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer said in her ruling that attorneys for a group of Paxil users failed to present a manageable trial plan.

Glaxo, Europe’s biggest drug maker, argued that it would be difficult for the court to determine if each member of a large class experienced the alleged withdrawal symptoms, including nausea and dizziness.

In October, Pfaelzer rejected a request from the same attorneys that advertisements stating that Paxil is “non-habit forming” be permanently barred.

The company was supported in court by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which said it had previously reviewed in-depth Paxil’s side effects and concluded that the drug is not habit forming and, as a result, the ads did not mislead.

The Paxil users are suing the British-based drug maker in federal court in Los Angeles, claiming that it deliberately played down the severity of withdrawal symptoms associated with abruptly stopping the drug.

Paxil, Glaxo’s top-selling product, reached sales of $2.7 billion last year.

©2002 Reuters Limited.