GSK Can't Sink Avandia Prescription Coverage RICO Suits

By Andrew Scurria (October 24, 2013, 1:57 PM EDT) -- GlaxoSmithKline LLC failed Wednesday to escape a trio of racketeering class actions in Pennsylvania federal court alleging its concealment of heart risks associated with the diabetes drug Avandia conned health benefit payors into covering pricey prescriptions.

U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe refused to dismiss claims from three union benefit funds under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, ruling the plaintiffs had adequately sketched out a scheme whereby GSK suppressed evidence of Avandia's cardiovascular risks to increase the number of prescriptions written and covered.

The suits argue that GSK caused third-party payors like employee benefit funds, health insurance carriers and...

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