GSK Faces Lawsuits over Swine Flu Vaccine
The Independent reports that Britain’s largest pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is facing lawsuits from 38 people, including 19 children, claiming that they developed narcolepsy after being vaccinated with Pandemrix.
What is Pandemrix?
Pandemrix is a specialized influenza vaccine that was developed GlaxoSmithKiline for use in immunization against the H1N1 virus, commonly called Swine Flu.
The vaccine saw elevated use across Europe and the United Kingdom between 2009 and 2010 with approximately 6 million people receiving the vaccine in the U.K. alone.
Pandemrix Linked to Narcolepsy
- Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder which impairs the brains ability to regulate wake and sleep cycles resulting in excessive sleepiness and day time sleep attacks.
- According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the link between Pandemrix and narcolepsy was first detected in Finland, but other cases linking the two began to be observed across Europe shortly after.
- Scientists with the Health Protection Agency (HPA) confirmed the link between Pandemrix and narcolepsy in children earlier this year estimating the narcolepsy is likely to develop in one of every 55,000 children treated with the vaccine.
- GSK is claiming indemnity as numerous governments including Great Britain’s agreed to share costs during vaccination and to cover compensation costs.
- The drug has not been used since 2010 according to the CDC.
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