Glaxo owes R.I. $4.6M for mis-marketing

Posted 7/2/12

PROVIDENCE – GlaxoSmithKline, as part of a deal with the federal government to pay $3 billion to settle civil and criminal charges that the pharmaceutical firm fraudulently marketed and priced drugs it manufactures, has agreed to pay Rhode Island $4.6 million.

The settlement, the largest for health care fraud in U.S. history, according to R.I. Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, stems from the company engaging in “a pattern of unlawfully marketing certain drugs for uses for which the drugs were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration; making false representations regarding the safety and efficacy of certain drugs; offering kickbacks to medical professionals; and underpaying rebates owed to government programs for various drugs paid for by Medicaid and other federally funded health care programs.”

Among the specific charges were marketing anti-depression drugs Paxil and Wellbutrin for off-label uses, as well as marketing for off-label use the asthma drug Advair, the nausea drug Zofran and the seizure medication Lamictal.

“This settlement sends a strong message: when drug companies put profits before patient health, they will be held accountable,” said Kilmartin.

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