Glaxo Will Pay $41 Million for Bad Drugs

     BOISE (CN) – GlaxoSmithKline will pay 36 states and the District of Columbia $40.8 million to settle complaints it distributed adulterated drugs. The drug giant used substandard manufacturing processes at its subsidiary, SB Pharmco Puerto Rico, several state attorneys general said.

     “Between 2001 and 2004, defendants manufactured and put into the stream of commerce certain lots of Kytril, Bactroban, Paxil and Avandamet that were adulterated because the manufacturing process used to produce these lots were substandard,” according to Idaho’s complaint.
     Kytril is prescribed to reduce side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer patients. Bactroban is an antibiotic ointment for skin infections. Avandamet is prescribed for Type II diabetes, and Paxil is an antidepressant.
     All the drugs at issue were made at Glaxo’s then-leading facility, SB Pharmco, in Cidra, Puerto Rico, then sent throughout the United States.
     Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said, “There is no current cause for concern for patients,” as the drugs have been recalled.
     The Puerto Rico plant, which closed in July 2008, was a major supplier to the United States, its portfolio of drugs including pills, ointments and injectibles.
     Idaho sought penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation “unfair, deceptive or misleading conduct” under state law.
     Glaxo said in a statement that it agreed to settle to avoid years of litigation.

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