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SAN FRANCISCO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced a $105 million multistate settlement with GlaxoSmithKline, LLC (GSK) to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully promoted its asthma drug, Advair, and antidepressant drugs, Paxil and Wellbutrin. California’s portion of the settlement is the largest of any state, at $7,087,897.
For the first time in a settlement with a large pharmaceutical manufacturer, GSK is prohibited from providing incentive payments to its salespeople, which serve to encourage off-label promotion of drugs, and from using paid doctors to promote its products.
“Patient care is undermined when pharmaceutical companies promote uses for drugs that have not been approved by the FDA or pay medical professionals to promote certain drugs,” Attorney General Harris said. “This settlement requires GSK to pay a significant penalty and imposes strong new rules designed to prevent future misrepresentations of GSK products.”
The Complaint and Stipulated Judgment, submitted today to the San Diego County Superior Court, alleges that GSK violated state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the uses and qualities of certain drugs. Specifically, GSK shall not:
The Stipulated Judgment also requires GSK to continue its Patient First Program at least through March 2019. The Patient First Program reduces financial incentives for sales representatives to engage in deceptive marketing. In addition, the Judgment requires scientifically trained personnel to be ultimately responsible for developing and approving responses to health care provider questions and for these responses to be unbiased and non-promotional.
Forty-three additional states and the District of Columbia participating in the settlement include: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Copies of the documents filed with the court are attached to the electronic version of this release at: http://oag.ca.gov/news