Caldwell suing over diabetes drug

Jessica M. Karmasek Feb. 17, 2011, 1:53pm


BATON ROUGE, La. (Legal Newsline) - Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell announced on Wednesday that his office has filed a civil action suit against GlaxoSmithKline, LLC.

Caldwell's suit claims that GlaxoSmithKline "wrongfully and illegally marketed, priced, sold and promoted" the diabetes medication rosiglitazone maleate under the trade names Avandia, Avandamet and Avandaryl, violating the state's Medical Assistance Programs Integrity Law, the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protections Law and other state laws.

Caldwell said in a statement, "I am committed to pursuing those who prey on our citizens and our state Medicaid program. This type of exploitation jeopardizes our economy, our health and in some cases our lives. Our focus on these perpetrators sends a message of zero tolerance for such fraud and abuse."

Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein agreed, "I welcome Attorney General Caldwell's tough stance in helping us protect precious Medicaid dollars."

"It is terribly disturbing that a company this size would take advantage of people by offering misleading information and take funds away from those who need it most. We are committed to rooting out abuse and misuse of Medicaid money wherever it occurs and to working with the Attorney General to ensure accountability for those who prey on the system," he said.

The attorney general's suit also claims that the state's Medicaid program paid GlaxoSmithKline $36,126,559.94 for "fraudulently induced" Avandia reimbursements.

Caldwell's office said it is seeking civil fines, penalties, restitution and other monetary relief.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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