July 24 GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to
pay $229 million to settle lawsuits brought by eight U.S. states
related to improper marketing of its Avandia diabetes drug, the
British drugmaker said on Wednesday.
The company, in a regulatory filing, said the settlement was
within provisions it had previously set aside for litigation.
The agreement also encompasses allegations brought by
Louisiana's attorney general involving other Glaxo products, the
The eight states had opted out of a prior settlement agreed
to by 37 other states last year over Avandia, which has been
linked to heart problems. It was pulled from the market in
Europe in 2010 and its use has been heavily restricted in the
The settlement does not involve any admission of liability
by the company and was undertaken to avoid lengthy trials, Glaxo
spokeswoman Mary Ann Rhyne said.
In addition to Louisiana, the other states involved are
Kentucky, Mississippi, Maryland, South Carolina, New Mexico,
West Virginia and Utah.
The news of the Avandia settlement comes at a time when
Glaxo is involved in a major investigation by Chinese
authorities over allegations of widespread bribery to help sell
its medicines in China.
Glaxo last year agreed to pay $3 billion and plead guilty to
criminal charges in one of the largest healthcare fraud cases in
U.S. history. That case involved marketing of products for
unapproved uses, including the antidepressant Paxil to underage
patients. That settlement also involved charges of failing to
provide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with Avandia