GSK Seeks Supreme Court Ruling on Paxil Suit Jurisdiction

April 18, 2017

GlaxoSmithKline has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the proper jurisdiction for a suit over birth defects and its antidepressant Paxil.

The company argued that eight mothers and their children should not have had their case proceed in an Illinois appeals court, on the grounds that the British drugmaker is not based in the state or was not doing sufficient business there.

The original plaintiffs — from six different states, including two mothers living in Illinois — had successfully argued that because GSK performed its clinical trials for Paxil at sites in Illinois, that would serve as reason enough for the state courts to hear the case. In addition, GSK had approximately 100 sales employees marketing Paxil in the state, the lower court found.

Paxil’s research program spanned 44 states and nine countries, GSK argued in its petition to the Supreme Court, with most studies taking place outside Illinois. In addition, those clinical trials excluded pregnant women, in accordance with FDA guidance, and were not designed to study birth defects.

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