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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2011
Washington to receive $1 million from GlaxoSmithKline and SB Pharmco settlement

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced the state will receive more than $1 million from a consumer protection settlement with two drug companies accused of poor manufacturing practices.

GlaxoSmithKline, LLC, (GSK) and SB Pharmco Puerto Rico, Inc., (SB Pharmco) will pay $40.75 million to resolve allegations brought by 38 attorneys general. The states alleged that GSK and SB Pharmco engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when they manufactured and distributed certain lots of drugs made at their facility in Cidra, Puerto Rico.

States claimed the products were adulterated because of the substandard manufacturing processes. 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).

The Cidra plant has been closed since 2009. There is no current cause for concern about the drugs covered by this agreement because all affected products were recalled years ago. If consumers have concerns, they should contact their health care providers.

A portion of Washington’s payment will be used to recover costs stemming from the investigation and lawsuit. The agreement permits any remaining funds to be used for consumer protection enforcement and education or to benefit medical or health care programs.

As a result of the settlement, 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 Attorneys General of the following states and the District of Columbia participated in the settlement: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

In addition to today’s settlement, Washington received $6 million from a related agreement last year with GSK. About $3 million was split between the state’s Medicaid program and the state general fund. The rest was returned to the federal government to cover its share of Medicaid spending.

DOCUMENTS:

Complaint

Consent Decree 


Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager, 206-464-6432, kalexander@atg.wa.gov


 

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