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Idaho gets $600K in pharmaceutical settlement

Idaho will get more than $600,000 in a legal settlement with two pharmaceutical manufacturers, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced today, over unfair and deceptive practices in manufacturing and distributing four drugs the companies manufactured in Puerto Rico, including Paxil CR, a popular antidepressant drug, and Kytril, a drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The companies, GlaxoSmithKline and SB Pharmco Puerto Rico, no longer are using the Puerto Rico manufacturing plant, and all tainted batches of the drugs were recalled; click below for the full announcement from Wasden.


STATE OF IDAHO
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
LAWRENCE WASDEN

For Immediate Release
Junes 23, 2011

Idaho to receive more than $600,000 from drug manufacturing settlement

(Boise) – The State of Idaho will receive $602,825 from a legal settlement with GlaxoSmithKline, LLC (GSK) and SB Pharmco Puerto Rico, Inc. (SB Pharmco), Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said today.  Wasden joined with the attorneys general of 37 other states in the settlement.

In a complaint filed with the settlement agreement today, Wasden alleged that GSK and SB Pharmco engaged in unfair and deceptive practices when they manufactured and distributed certain lots of Kytril, Bactroban, Paxil CR and Avandamet.  Those lots were adulterated because of substandard manufacturing processes used to produce them at the companies’ plant in Cidra, Puerto Rico. GSK and SB Pharmco are no longer manufacturing drugs at their Cidra facility, which has been closed since 2009.

“People depend on prescription drugs for their health, and, in many instances, for their very lives,” Attorney General Wasden said.  “It is imperative that manufacturers maintain integrity, not only in their products, but also in their representations of their products.”

Kytril is a drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  Bactroban is an antibiotic ointment used to treat skin infections.  Paxil CR is the controlled-release formulation of the popular antidepressant drug, Paxil.  Avandamet is used to treat Type II diabetes.

Consumers should note that there is no current cause for concern regarding the drugs covered by this agreement, because all adulterated batches have been recalled for many years and/or the products’ expiration date is past.  If consumers do have concerns, they should contact their health care provider.

The settlement enjoins GSK and SB Pharmco from making false, misleading or deceptive claims regarding the manufacturing of all drugs formerly manufactured at the Cidra facility, regardless of where those drugs are now produced.

The settlement has been submitted for approval by the Fourth District Court in Ada County.

Deputy Attorney General Jane Hochberg handled the case for Attorney General Wasden’s Consumer Protection Division.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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