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 Wednesday 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 Wednesday 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.