Appeals Court Overturns Ruling Finding GSK Liable for Generic User’s Suicide

August 24, 2018

An appeals court Wednesday overturned a federal court ruling that GlaxoSmithKline was liable for the suicide of an attorney who took a generic of its antidepressant drug Paxil (paroxetine).

In a 2011 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that generic drugmakers cannot be sued over labeling as they are required by law to use the same labeling as the branded version. In April 2017, the Northern District of Illinois ordered GSK to pay $3 million to the widow of Stewart Dolin, who committed suicide after taking a Paxil generic.

GSK argued it had repeatedly asked the FDA to update Paxil’s labeling to reflect adult suicide risks but the agency refused to do so, favoring uniform labeling for all selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs.

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