GSK To Pay $105 Million To Settle Advair, Paxil, Wellbutrin Disputes

Drug biggie GlaxoSmithKline has been slapped with another huge settlement for its questionable marketing tactics. This time, the pharma company has agreed to pay $105 million to resolve claims made by attorneys general from 45 states regarding the selling of asthma drug Advair and antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin.

The states had accused GSK of illegally marketing these drugs for off-label uses and misrepresenting their qualities.

For example, Advair was allegedly marketed to people suffering from mild asthma in spite of the fact that the FDA has not approved it for that use. Likewise the FDA had not approved claims that Paxil and Wellbutrin are safe and effective for children and teens, but that apparently didn’t stop GSK from pushing it that way.

Additionally, the company allegedly paid its sales reps incentives for promoting these off-label uses.

In addition to paying the $105 million to the 45 states involved, GSK must continue its Patient First Program — which reduces financial incentives for sales reps to engage in improper marketing — through March 2019.

The five states that won’t share in the pot of Paxil gold are Alaska, Louisiana, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia.

Late last year, GSK announced that it would stop the longstanding practice of paying doctors to prescribe its drugs over competitors’ medications.

GSK has already paid $90 million to a group of states for its marketing of Avandia. Shortly before that, the company was slapped with a massive $3 billion settlement to settle federal fraud investigations.