published Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Tennessee to get $3 million in multi-state settlement with drug manufacturer

NASHVILLE — Tennessee will get a $3 million share in a $105 million settlement by 45 state attorneys general with drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.

State Attorney General Bob Cooper said the settlement signals a major change in how pharmaceutical sales teams are motivated and paid with consumers reaping the benefits ultimately.

The settlement resolves allegations that GlaxoSmithKline LLC unlawfully promoted its asthma drug, Advair, and antidepressant drugs, Paxil and Wellbutrin.

Cooper's office said the complaint and agreed final judgment, filed today in Davidson County Circuit Court, alleges the drug manufacturer violated state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the uses and qualities of the three drugs.

The complaint alleges GlaxoSmithKline made false and misleading representations to promote Advair as a first-line treatment for all asthma patients, including those with minor asthma problems who only occasionally needed a rescue inhaler.

The state also alleges the company provided financial incentives to its sales representatives to deceptively promote Advair for mild asthma patients.

“We appreciate the cooperative work of all the states participating in this consumer protection investigation,” Cooper said. “My office remains vigilant in its efforts to stop deceptive marketing practices by some drug companies which may lead to unnecessary, expensive drugs and risk the health of Tennesseans.”

Cooper worked on the leadership committee of the bipartisan group's consumer protection investigation.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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