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Glaxosmithkline And Sb Pharmco To Pay Vermont $530 Thousand In Settlement

CONTACT: William H. Sorrell, Attorney General, (802) 828-3166

June 23, 2011

Vermont will receive approximately $530 thousand as part of a settlement with GlaxoSmithkline, LLC (GSK) and SB Pharmco Puerto Rico, Inc. (SB Pharmco), Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today. The total settlement of $40.75 million, paid to thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia, arises from alleged substandard manufacturing processes at SB Pharmco’s Cidra, Puerto Rico plant.

In a complaint filed today along with the settlement agreement, Attorney General Sorrell alleged that GSK and SB Pharmco engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when they manufactured and distributed certain lots of 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) that were adulterated because the manufacturing processes used to produce these lots were substandard.

“The safety and quality of our pharmaceuticals is of the utmost importance for consumers, and my Office will continue to hold pharmaceutical companies to the highest standard in the manufacturing process,” said Attorney General Sorrell.

GSK and SB Pharmco are no longer manufacturing drugs at their Cidra facility, which has been closed since 2009. 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.

Consumers should note that there is no current cause for concern regarding the drugs covered by this agreement because all adulterated batches have been recalled for many years and/or the products’ expiration date is past. If consumers do have concerns they should contact their health care provider.

Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan and Oregon Attorney General, John Kroger led the investigation into GSK and SB Pharmco’s manufacturing practices. 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.

The settlement agreement must still be approved by the Vermont Superior Court in Washington County.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.