Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
June 23, 2011
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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Attorney General Bondi and 37 Attorneys General Reach $40.75 Million Settlement with Pharmaceutical Companies

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi announced today that she and 37 other attorneys general reached a $40.75 million settlement with GlaxoSmithKline, LLC and SB Pharmco Puerto Rico, Inc. arising from alleged unfair and deceptive trade practices. Florida will receive approximately $2.92 million from the settlement. According to the complaint, GSK and SB Pharmco were manufacturing drugs that had been adulterated because the manufacturing processes used to produce these drugs were substandard. Consumers should note that there is no current cause for concern regarding the drugs covered by this agreement because all adulterated batches were recalled years ago. The settlement will reimburse the state for the costs related to this case and contribute to funding future investigations on behalf of Florida’s consumers.

The complaint alleges 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).

GSK and SB Pharmco are no longer manufacturing drugs at their Cidra, Puerto Rico 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.

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.