Attorney General Files Suit Against GlaxoSmithKline

Popular diabetes medications Avandia, Avandamet and Avandaryl alleged to be unsafe and deceptively marketed to consumers; Prescription drugs in question dramatically increase chance of heart attack

BALTIMORE—Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced on Feb. 20 that Maryland has filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline, LLC over that company’s misleading marketing of the prescription drugs Avandia, Avandamet and Avandaryl. These medications are used to treat diabetes. The lawsuit alleges that GlaxoSmithKline touted the drugs as superior to other diabetes medications even though they were not, in fact, better at treating the disease.

“GlaxoSmithKline has put diabetes patients at serious risk with misleading claims over the safety and efficacy of these drugs,” said Attorney General Gansler. “We want consumers to know the facts so they can protect themselves and we seek to recover the costs of this deceptive behavior.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the company withheld data showing that these drugs dramatically increase a patient’s chances of suffering a heart attack or other serious adverse events. Despite its knowledge of these risks, GlaxoSmithKline promoted the drug as safe for use.

Almost nine percent of Maryland’s citizens are diabetic. The State spent more than $38 million on Avandia, Avandamet and Avandaryl through the State Employee Prescription Drug Plan, the State Retiree Prescription Drug Plan, the Medical Assistance Program and other State health care programs. The State has and will continue to incur costs for additional medical costs incurred by those who took Avandia and suffered adverse events.

The lawsuit seeks to recover for the State both the cost of purchasing Avandia and the cost of the additional health care costs incurred.

For a redacted version of the complaint filed under seal by order of the court visit:

Source: Office of Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler

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