Montana Department of Justice
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June 28, 2011

Attorney General Bullock, 37 States Reach $40 Million Settlement With GlaxoSmithKline

HELENA – Attorney General Steve Bullock, along with 37 other state attorneys general, has reached a $40.75 million settlement with GlaxoSmithKline, LLC (GSK) over allegations that its Puerto Rican subsidiary, SB Pharmco Inc., manufactured drugs using substandard processes.

Montana will receive $558,418 under the settlement agreement filed in district court in Helena last week. Under the terms of the agreement, that money will go to address the harms related to the deceptive conduct at issue.

The settlement agreement alleges that GSK and SB Pharmco engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when they manufactured and distributed adulterated batches of four drugs:

  • 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
  • Avandamet, a combination Type II diabetes drug

“When Montanans need to use a medicine, they should absolutely be able to trust that the dosages are correct and that the drugs are not contaminated or adulterated in any way,” Bullock said. “The public has a right to expect as much from all drug manufacturers, and we won’t tolerate corners being cut.”

Bullock noted that there is now no cause for concern about the drugs covered by this agreement because all of the adulterated batches have been recalled for many years or have passed their expiration date. Any consumers who do have concerns should contact their health care provider.

The drugs in question were manufactured from 2001 to 2004 at GSK and SB Pharmco’s Cidra facility. That facility has been closed since 2009.

Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan and Oregon Attorney General, John Kroger led the investigation into GSK and SB Pharmco’s manufacturing practices. Along with Bullock, 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, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.