Colo. reaches settlement with drug companies

Colorado is part of a $40.75 million settlement with pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and SB Pharmco Puerto Rico Inc., to resolve allegations of deceptive trade practices, according to Attorney General John Suthers.

Colorado will receive $839,479 under the settlement. A total of 36 states were part of the lawsuit, Suthers said.

According to the complaint, the two drug companies used substandard manufacturing techniques to produce Kytril, a drug used to prevent nausea caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy; Bactroban, an antibiotic ointment; Paxil CR, an antidepressant drug; and Avandamet, a drug used to treat Type II diabetes. The faulty manufacturing methods and the resultant adulteration of the drugs were not disclosed to patients, which constituted a deceptive trade practice, according to the complaint.

GlaxoSmithKline and SB Pharmco Puerto Rico no longer produce drugs at their Cidra facility, which was responsible for the substandard production. As a result of the settlement, the companies are barred from making deceptive claims regarding the manufacturing of any drugs formerly manufactured at the Cidra facility, regardless of where these drugs are now produced. The companies also are barred from misrepresenting those drugs’ characteristics, including the way in which they are manufactured.

Consumers should be aware that there currently is no cause for concern regarding the drugs covered by this agreement because all adulterated batches have been under recall for several years, have not been produced at the Cidra facility since 2009 or are past their expiration date. If consumers have concerns about their medication or health they should contact their health care provider.