GlaxoSmithKline has again spoken out in defence of Seroxat as reports re-emerged concerning lawsuits being filed in the UK against the firm and its blockbuster antidepressant.

The news agency Bloomberg reported that GSK is being sued for around £15.7 million by over 300 patients who claim the company was negligent or committed a statutory breach of duty dating back to 1997 regarding Seroxat (paroxetine), which is sold as Paxil in the USA. Mark Harvey of Wales-based law firm Hugh James Solicitors filed the suit at the London High Court on December 19 on behalf of the plaintiffs who are alleging that they suffered withdrawal symptoms when stopping treatment of the drug.

The law firm has been speaking to other media outlets over the past few months about the suit but the reality is that the case is not likely to be heard for several years.

A GSK spokesman told PharmaTimes World News that the filing did not represent any call for alarm and the firm does not feel it has any case to answer. He said that "we believe there is no merit in this litigation. Seroxat has benefited millions of people worldwide who have suffered from depression”, adding that “this is a routine step in the litigation which we are continuing to defend."

A class action lawsuit has already been filed against GSK in the USA over paroxetine, which claims that the firm withheld important information on the drug's effect on children. GSK has repeatedly rejected suggestions that it has behaved improperly in terms of covering up unfavourable data.