GlaxoSmithKline reached a $105 million settlement with Georgia and 44 other states this week for misrepresenting uses and qualities of its drugs Advair, Paxil and Wellbutrin.
Georgia will get $2.62 million from the settlement, said John Sours, the administrator of the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection. The money goes in the state’s general fund. The Office of Consumer Protection is charged with prosecuting violations of the Fair Business Practices Act.
The company is accused of giving financial incentives to its sales force to market drugs for off-label use. Sales representatives also provided samples of the drugs to doctors who were likely to only prescribe the drugs for off-label use, according to the settlement.
GSK reached a related settlement with the federal government in 2012. It agreed to pay $3 billion to resolve criminal and civil liabilities for rewarding doctors who promoted the drugs for off-label use with lavish trips, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“GSK is the first pharmaceutical company to commit to fundamental reforms to our business model in the U.S. and around the world by stopping payments to doctors to speak about our products, stopping payments to doctors to attend medical conferences and cutting the tie linking the pay of our sales representatives who call on prescribers to the number of prescriptions issued,” the company said in a press release.
The company did not admit liability in the state settlement agreement.
Illinois and Oregon state prosecutors led the executive committee in the multi-state litigation, according to a Georgia press release. Sours’ office works with the state Attorney General’s office, which gets information about any push for consumer protection lawsuits from the National Attorneys General Association.
“We will continue to collaborate in order to protect Georgia consumers from unfair business conduct,” Attorney General Sam Olens said in the press release.