News release from state attorney general’s office:
Tennessee will receive at least $13.5 million as part of one of the largest healthcare fraud agreements in U.S. history, Attorney General Bob Cooper announced today.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to pay $3 billion to the federal government and participating states nationally to resolve allegations that GSK engaged in various illegal schemes related to the marketing and pricing of drugs it manufactures.
As part of the agreement, GSK will pay the federal government and participating states a total of $2 billion in damages and civil penalties to compensate various federal healthcare programs, including Medicaid, for harm allegedly suffered as a result of the illegal conduct. In addition, GSK has agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges relating to illegal drug labeling and FDA reporting and has agreed to pay a $1 billion criminal fine in connection with those allegations.
News release from attorney general’s office:
Tennessee has joined a $40.75 million, multistate agreement that resolves allegations that GlaxoSmithKline, LLC (GSK) and SB Pharmco Puerto Rico, Inc. (SB Pharmco) were using substandard processes while manufacturing some of their prescription drugs, Attorney General Bob Cooper along with Gary Cordell, director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, announced today. As a result, Tennessee will receive $1.34 million.
The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, which was on the Executive Committee investigating the matter, and 37 other state attorneys general alleged that GSK and SB Pharmco engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when they manufactured and distributed certain lots of drugs that were adulterated. The drugs included Kytril (a sterile drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy), Bactroban (an antibiotic ointment used to treat skin infections), Paxil CR (the controlled release formulation of the popular antidepressant drug, Paxil) and Avandamet (a combination Type II diabetes drug).
“Tennesseans should be able to buy their medications with the confidence that they are getting safe and effective drugs,” Attorney General Cooper said. “While we are not aware of any confirmed problems with any of the drugs, there is always a possibility that some did reach the state. We hope the injunctive relief in this agreement will discourage any other company from eroding Tennessee’s consumer confidence through deception.”
Consumers should note that there is no current cause for concern regarding the drugs covered by this agreement because all adulterated batches have been recalled for many years and/or the products’ expiration date is past. If consumers do have concerns they should contact their health care provider.
GSK and SB Pharmco are no longer manufacturing drugs at their Cidra facility in Puerto Rico, which has been closed since 2009. As a result of the agreement, GSK and SB Pharmco are enjoined from making false, misleading or deceptive claims regarding the manufacturing of all drugs formerly manufactured at the Cidra facility regardless of where these drugs are now produced. In addition, the companies must not misrepresent those drugs’ characteristics, or cause likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding about the way in which they are manufactured.
The State’s Complaint and Agreed Final Judgment may be viewed by going online to
www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral and clicking on “Filings of Interest.”
Consumers who have complaints about any individuals or businesses engaged in unfair or deceptive trade practices should contact Consumer Affairs at either 1-800-342-8385 (toll free inside Tennessee) or (615) 741-4737. Complaints also may be filed online at http://tn.gov/consumer/consCompFrm.shtml.