Written by Lisa Chedekel
The state will receive $1.6 million as part of a $90 million multi-state settlement with the drug maker GlaxoSmithKline to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully promoted its diabetes drug, Avandia.
Thirty-seven other states are participating in the settlement, following claims that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) engaged in unfair and deceptive practices by misrepresenting Avandia’s potential cardiovascular risks and by promoting the drug to physicians and other healthcare professionals with false and misleading representations about Avandia’s safety profile.
The settlement resolves the state’s claim against the company under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. Connecticut’s share of the settlement is $1,668,482, of which $100,000 will be allocated to the Department of Consumer Protection to support the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and the agency’s Consumer Fund. Another $100,000 will go to the Attorney General’s Consumer Fund. The rest will go into the state’s General Fund.
“A misrepresentation of what a prescription drug does or does not do could have significant consequences on a patient’s health and wellbeing,” said Attorney General George Jepsen. “This settlement sends a clear message that allegations of false or misleading claims about a drug’s benefits and risks will be taken very seriously.”
“Drug companies must act responsibly when promoting their products,” added Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein.
As part of the settlement, GSK agreed not to: make any false, misleading or deceptive claims about any diabetes drug; make comparative safety claims not supported by substantial evidence or clinical experience; present favorable information previously thought of as valid, but rendered invalid by more credible recent information; or misuse statistics or otherwise misrepresent the nature, applicability or significance of clinical trials.
In addition, GSK will post summaries of any company-sponsored clinical trials of diabetes products within eight months of the primary completion date, and must register and post all company-sponsored clinical trials as required by federal law.
Earlier this year, Connecticut joined a $3 billion federal-state settlement with GSK to resolve healthcare fraud claims that the company engaged in various illegal schemes related to the marketing and pricing of drugs it manufactures, including Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia. The state’s share in that settlement was an estimated $11.1 million.
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