GlaxoSmithKline reaches settlement in class-action suits over Lymerix vaccine

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GlaxoSmithKline reached a settlement in class-action lawsuits alleging that the discontinued Lymerix vaccine had the potential for causing arthritis in some genetically susceptible people, news sources report.

The Lyme-disease drug was taken off the market in February 2002, which was the main goal of the lawsuits, the attorneys for the plaintiffs said. Glaxo will pay the attorney fees and costs associated with the case, but patients
who took the vaccine will receive nothing from the settlement.

Glaxo denies that Lymerix caused any illness and said its safety and efficacy were proven in trials. Danielle Halstrom, a GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman, said that "the company took the vaccine off the market for financial reasons, not because of health risks or lawsuits," a news source writes.

According to the terms of the settlement, Glaxo cannot reintroduce the vaccine without FDA-approved label changes, a news source reports. Halstrom indicated that the company has no intention of bringing the drug back to market.

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