BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler filed a lawsuit Wednesday against GlaxoSmithKline alleging that the pharmaceutical company used misleading marketing for the prescription drugs Avandaryl, Avandamet and Avandia.
GlaxoSmithKline allegedly promoted the drugs as superior to other diabetes medications even though they were not actually better at treating the disease and withheld data that showed the drugs significantly increased a patient's chances of suffering a heart attack or other serious complications. GlaxoSmithKline allegedly promoted the drugs as safe for use despite its knowledge of the risks.
"GlaxoSmithKline has put diabetes patients at serious risk with misleading claims over the safety and efficacy of these drugs," Gansler said. "We want consumers to know the facts so they can protect themselves and we seek to recover the costs of this deceptive behavior."
The state of Maryland spent more than $38 million on Avandaryl, Avandamet and Avandia through the Medical Assistance Program, the State Retiree Prescription Drug Plan, the State Employee Prescription Drug Plan and other state healthcare programs. The state has and will continue to pay the costs for additional medical expenses incurred by patients who took Avandia and suffered complications.
Gansler's lawsuit seeks to recover the cost of purchasing Avandia for the state, in addition to the cost of the additional healthcare expenses incurred.