US court orders GSK to pay $3m after generic Paxil suicide lawsuit

A US court has ordered GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 million to a woman who sued the company after her husband committed suicide after taking a generic version of its antidepressant, Paxil.

Reuters reported that a trial jury in a federal court in Chicago ruled GSK should make the payment following the lawsuit.

Wendy Dolin raised the lawsuit after her husband Stewart Dolin, a partner at Reed Smith LLP, jumped in front of a commuter train in 2010 after taking a generic equivalent of GSK’s Paxil.

GSK told Reuters in a statement it was disappointed with the trial outcome and planned to appeal.

In the statement, GSK said it should not be liable because it did not manufacture or market the drug taken by Dolin.

The drug’s label gave “complete and adequate” warnings at the time the drug was taken, GSK said.

Mrs Dolin filed the lawsuit against GSK and Mylan, which manufactured paroxetine hydrochloride, the generic version of the antidepressant.

A judge dismissed Mylan from the lawsuit in 2014 but allowed Dolin’s case against GSK because it controlled the drug’s design and label, which applied to branded and generic versions.

The label had a “black box” warning that paroxetine, like all SSRI antidepressants, can increase the risk of suicidal behaviour by users aged under 25.

Dolin’s lawyers had initially requested $39 million, alleging GSK had evidence paroxetine increases the risk of suicide by as much as 670% but failed to include the warning on the label.

GSK’s attorney had said the label was appropriate and its wording was mandated by the FDA.

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