BOSTON – Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office announced last week that it had joined 37 other states in a $90 million settlement with GlaxoSmithKline LLC. The lawsuit resolves allegations that the pharmaceutical company unlawfully promoted its diabetes drug, Avandia, by misrepresenting its cardiovascular risks and safety profile. According to a statement, the settlement will bring more than $2.1 million to the commonwealth.
Separately, R.I. Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Rhode Island will receive $1.2 million under the settlement.
In order to increase their sales of Avandia in Massachusetts, Coakley’s office alleges that GlaxoSmithKline promoted the diabetes drug to physicians and other health care providers with false and misleading representations about its safety and misrepresented the drug’s cardiovascular benefits when, in fact, the drug may instead increase risks.
As part of the settlement, the company agreed to reform how it markets and promotes diabetes drugs, and is prohibited from making any future false or unsubstantiated claims about its diabetes drugs.
“When pharmaceutical companies misrepresent the safety of their drugs, they put patients at risk,” Coakley said. “This settlement helps ensure that consumers will be protected from misleading marketing that can result in the unsafe use of prescription drugs.”
With the settlement, GlaxoSmithKline doesn’t admit any wrongdoing, The Associated Press reported. •