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Attorney General's News Release

June 6, 2014

AG Koster announces Missouri will receive $2 million in national pharmaceutical settlement

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today announced that Missouri will receive $2 million as part of a national settlement with pharmaceutical maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully marketed its asthma drug Advair, and antidepressant drugs Paxil and Wellbutrin. The complaint and judgment filed in Cole County alleges that GSK violated state consumer-protection laws by misrepresenting the uses and qualities of these drugs.

"GlaxoSmithKline intentionally marketed these drugs for medical conditions for which they were not approved," Koster said. "We will continue to protect Missouri consumers by holding companies that engage in this type of unlawful behavior responsible."

The settlement also requires GSK to reform its marketing and promotional practices to avoid unlawful marketing in the future. Specifically, GSK cannot:

  • Make any written or oral claim that is false, misleading, or deceptive about any GSK product;
  • Make promotional claims that a GSK product is better, more effective, safer, or has fewer serious side effects or contraindications unless approved by the FDA;
  • Provide samples of GSK products to those health care professionals who are not expected to prescribe the sampled GSK products for an approved use, but who would be expected to prescribe the sampled product for an off-label use; or
  • Disseminate information describing any off-label use of a GSK product, unless such information and materials are consistent with applicable FDA regulations and FDA Guidances for Industry. 

The settlement also requires GSK to continue its Patient First Program, which reduces financial incentives for sales representatives to engage in deceptive marketing.

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