GSK spends $120M-plus on Poligrip suits

The Poligrip denture cream lawsuits have cost GlaxoSmithKline a pretty penny, Bloomberg reports. The company has paid at least $120 million to settle lawsuits over the safety of Poligrip, sources tell the news service. More than 100 lawsuits have been settled for an average of more than $1 million each.

Patients have been claiming that Polgrip products, which contain zinc, have caused their neurological disorders. They say that GSK failed to warn consumers about the health risks of zinc in those products. The company in February said it would remove zinc from the Poligrip line, after some researchers linked heavy use of zinc-containing denture creams to neurological problems and nerve damage, Bloomberg says.

The Poligrip cases are among a slew of lawsuits GSK has settled recently, as it works to clear out pending litigation over its controversial diabetes drug Avandia, which has been linked to heart problems, and its antidepressant Paxil, allegedly linked to an increase in suicide risks and birth defects. The company has set aside billions of dollars to wrap up the liability suits.

"GSK has been dogged by litigation over a variety of its products and has been moving aggressively to resolve those cases," Matrix Corporate Capital analyst Navid Malik told Bloomberg. "I see these settlements as part of that effort."

- read the Bloomberg news