SEATTLE, Wash. - Attorney General Rob McKenna announced Thursday that he and 37 other Attorney Generals reached a $90 million settlement with GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK), resolving any allegations that the company had illegally promoted its diabetes drug, Avandia.
A small portion of the $2.2 million share that Washington received from the settlement will be used to cover attorneys' fees and any costs associated with the investigation of GSK. The rest will be made available as grants to organizations that have been set up to help those who suffer from diabetes.
Rob McKenna had this to say, "We believe that GlaxoSmithKline engaged in unfair and deceptive practices by misrepresenting the health risks of taking Avandia. Those who suffer from diabetes already face a higher risk of heart disease. GlaxoSmithKline did not warn such patients that their cholesterol, and their chances of having a heart attack, might go up after taking the drug."
Part of this settlement states that, GlaxoSmithKline agrees to reform how it markets and promotes diabetes drugs. Under a Consent Judgment filed today in King County Superior Court, GSK may not:
· Make any false, misleading, or deceptive claims about any diabetes drug;
· Make comparative safety claims not supported by substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience;
· Present favorable information previously thought of as valid but rendered invalid by contrary and more credible recent information;
· Promote investigational drugs; or
· Misuse statistics or otherwise misrepresent the nature, applicability, or significance of clinical trials.
This is the second major settlement involving Avandia. In July, the drug maker agreed to pay the states and the federal government a total of $2 billion in damages and civil penalties to compensate various healthcare programs, including Medicaid, for harm allegedly suffered as a result of its illegal marketing of the drug. It also paid a $1 billion criminal fine. Washington state's share of that settlement was $8.7 million.