Attorney General Bob Cooper And 44 Attorneys General Reach $105 Million Settlement With GlaxoSmithKline Concerning Asthma Drug Advair

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Attorney General Bob Cooper announced a settlement that signals a major change in the way pharmaceutical sales teams are motivated and paid for the ultimate benefit of consumers.  The 45 Attorneys General led by a bipartisan leadership committee have reached a $105 million settlement with GlaxoSmithKline, LLC to resolve allegations that GlaxoSmithKline unlawfully promoted its asthma drug, Advair, and antidepressant drugs, Paxil and Wellbutrin. Tennessee will receive $3 million for the Attorney General’s work on the leadership committee of this multistate consumer protection investigation.

The complaint and agreed final judgment filed today in Davidson County Circuit Court alleges that GlaxoSmithKline violated state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the uses and qualities of these drugs. In particular, the complaint alleges that GSK used false and misleading representations to promote Advair as a first line treatment for all asthma patients, including mild asthma patients who only occasionally needed a rescue inhaler. Furthermore, GSK allegedly provided financial incentives to GSK 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,” Attorney General 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.”

The agreed final judgment also requires GlaxoSmithKline to reform its marketing and promotional practices. Specifically, GSK shall not:

·         Make, or cause to be made, any written or oral claim that is false, misleading, or deceptive about any GSK product;

·         Make promotional claims, not approved or permitted by the FDA that a GSK product is better, more effective, safer, or has less serious side effects or contraindications than has been demonstrated by substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience;

·         Present favorable information or conclusions from  a study that is inadequate in design, scope  or conduct to furnish significant support for such information or conclusions, when presenting information about a clinical study regarding GSK products in any promotional materials;

·         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 products 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 agreed final judgment also requires GSK to continue its Patient First Program at least through March 2019. The Patient First Program reduces financial incentives for sales representatives to engage in deceptive marketing. In addition, the judgment requires scientifically-trained personnel to be ultimately responsible for developing and approving responses to health care provider questions and for these responses to be unbiased and non-promotional.

The State’s Complaint and Agreed Final Judgment may be viewed by going online to www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral and clicking on “Filings of Interest.”

Consumers may file complaints regarding prescription drug advertisements or any other deceptive conduct by going online to www.tn.gov/consumer or calling the TDCI Division of Consumer Affairs at (615) 741-4737 or toll-free in Tennessee at 1-800-342-8385.




New And Used Vehicle Sales Increase In July

New vehicle sales in Hamilton County increased to 1,190 in July and used vehicle sales increased to 3,641, according to figures from the County Clerk's office.  That compares to 1,162 new vehicles sold and 3,488 used vehicles sold in July of last year.  Totals for July included 485 new cars and 705 new trucks sold. They included 1,871 used cars and 1,770 used trucks sold. (click for more)

GDOL To Host A Recruitment Next Week In Fort Oglethorpe To Fill 500 Jobs With Convergys

The Georgia Department of Labor will help Convergys hire 500 customer service and sales representatives at a recruitment Tuesday, Aug. 11, in Fort Oglethorpe. The recruitment will be from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the council meeting room at Fort Oglethorpe City Hall located at 500 City Hall Dr. Convergys is a company that provides customer management solutions for companies internationally. ... (click for more)

Truck Driver Who Caused Wreck That Killed 6 People At Ooltewah Indicted On 13 Charges; Report Says He Drove Excessive Hours

The Chattanooga Police Department has issued a capias for the arrest of Benjamin Brewer, 39, concerning the multiple fatality traffic crash that occurred on I-75 northbound on June 25. Brewer was indicted on Monday on 13 counts.  They include six counts of vehicular homicide by impairment, a B-felony; four counts for reckless aggravated assault, a D-felony; one count for DUI ... (click for more)

Rawls Says Schools Could Have Better Spent $16,000 Than For Motivational Speech; County To Explore Performance Guaranteed Utility Contract

Bradley County Commissioner Dan Rawls said three school systems could have better spent $16,000 than for a motivational speaker to fire teachers up at the start of a new school year. He said the payment to Ron Clark, former National Teacher of the Year and the founder of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, could have gone for school supplies and other needs. Bradley County ... (click for more)

Why Is The City Diverting Federal Transportation Funds From Real Need?

The city of Chattanooga and CBL, owner of Hamilton Place Mall, would have the mass of taxpayers believe that improving mall access from the interstate is not impacting us financially.   Namely, CBL has committed to fund the city’s match of $8 million, so they will receive $32 million in Federal Transportation Funds that are allocated annually to local jurisdictions through ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Hero Is Coming Home

In late September, a very special funeral will be held in Bearden, Tenn., when 1 st Lt. Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman Jr., will finally come home to lie in peace with his family. Sandy’s been dead for 72 years now, ever since he was killed in combat on the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands on Nov. 22, 1943. He and a number of other Marine heroes were buried back then in a shallow ... (click for more)