Morrisey announces $22 million settlement

CHARLESTON – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Thursday that West Virginia has reached a $22 million settlement with GlaxoSmithKline LLC in a lawsuit alleging GSK engaged in an illegal marketing campaign to promote the diabetic drugs Avandia, Avandamet and Avandaryl.

The settlement is one of the largest pharmaceutical settlements in the state’s history; revenues from it will be used to shore up several state funds that benefit West Virginians and reduce budget shortfalls.

Based on a settlement agreement with GSK, the state’s Public Employees Insurance Agency will receive nearly $10.6 million, while the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Medicaid program will receive $3.7 million. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Fund will receive nearly $3.1 million. The remaining $4.6 million will go to pay attorneys’ fees and expenses.

“Our office represented the state, PEIA and Medicaid in this legal challenge, and we are pleased that we were able to recoup some of the money spent on these products,” Morrisey said. “We will always vigorously enforce the laws.”

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the State of West Virginia, Medicaid and PEIA in Wayne County Circuit Court. It alleged that GSK failed to disclose the side effects of Avandia, Avandamet and Avandaryl when it was marketing the medicine as a product to lower patients’ blood sugar and reducing diabetics’ cardiovascular risks.