Avandia class action filed in St. Clair County

A St. Clair County man, along with dozens of others, is suing the makers of a diabetes drug alleging it causes heart problems.

Melvin Reagan filed a class-action claim May 4 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against GlaxoSmithKline, SmithKline Beecham Corporation, McKesson Corporation and five unnamed defendants.

According to the complaint filed on behalf of 43 patients, GSK began marketing the Type-2 diabetes medication Avandia in 1999 after receiving approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration. The drug has reportedly been prescribed to nearly six million people in the United States since then.

Reagan and the other patients claim GSK knew the consumption of Avandia increased the risk of heart problems, including heart attacks and congestive heart failure, but did not warn its patients. They allege the company's own tests, performed in 2005, showed this to be true yet GSK did not put a warning label on Avandia until 2007.

The class accuses GSK and McKesson of negligence, fraud, breach of warranty and misrepresentation. It asks for a judgment of more than $650,000 in damages for medical expenses, loss of income and court costs.

Reagan and the class are represented by attorneys Robert G. Jones of Belleville and David R. Jones of Edwardsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-228.

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