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Latino State News

Attorney General Madigan, 37 States Reach $40 Million Pharmacuetical Settlement

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and 37 other state attorneys general today announced a $40.75 million settlement with GlaxoSmithkline LLC and SB Pharmco Puerto Rico Inc. over allegations of violating drug manufacturing standards. Illinois will receive $2.4 million in the settlement.

Madigan, who filed a complaint and the subsequent settlement today in Cook County Circuit Court, alleged that GlaxoSmithkline (GSK) and SB Pharmco engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when they manufactured and distributed certain lots of the drugs Kytril, Bactroban, Paxil CR and Avandamet.

“Consumers put their faith in drug companies that the medications they purchase are safe,” Attorney General Madigan said. “My office will not tolerate pharmaceutical companies cutting corners at the potential expense of consumer health.”

Madigan and the attorneys general alleged that from 2001 to 2004 drug batches were manufactured improperly and distributed to vulnerable patients nationwide. The investigation involved instances where certain batches were not sterilized or in other cases medication contained different dosages than indicated on the bottle, among other alleged violations.

The drugs manufactured during this time include: Kytril, used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy; Bactroban, an antibiotic ointment for skin infections; Paxil CR, a controlled release formulation of the antidepressant drug, Paxil; and Avandamet, a combination Type II diabetes drug.

Madigan said there is no current cause for concern for patients. Drugs made at the plant in this time period have previously been recalled or have since expired, and the facility in question has since closed. Consumers with additional concerns should contact their health care provider.

Included in the terms of the settlement, GSK and SB Pharmco are barred from misrepresenting the drugs’ characteristics, or causing confusion or misunderstanding about the way in which they are manufactured.

The investigation and settlement was led by Attorney General Madigan and Oregon Attorney General John Kroger.

Assistant Attorneys General Vaishali Rao and E. Paige Boggs and Bureau Chief Jim Kole handled the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.