Global pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline PLC will pay the state $1.5 million and change how it compensates its sales staff and promotes its drugs, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced Wednesday.
The payment is part of a $105 million dollar settlement announced Wednesday with 44 states and the District of Columbia over allegations the drug manufacturer unlawfully promoted its asthma drug Advair and its antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin by misrepresenting their uses and qualities.
"This settlement resolves our allegations that the company violated Iowa's consumer protection laws so it could make a bigger profit," Miller said in a press release. "The company must significantly change how it markets its drugs and compensates its pharmaceutical sales teams, which will ultimately benefit consumers."
The company's payment to Iowa will go to the state's consumer education and litigation fund.
A consent judgment requires GlaxoSmithKline to reform its marketing and promotional practices. Among those requirements, the judgment prohibits the company from providing samples of its products to health care professionals who are not expected to prescribe the sampled products for an approved use, but who would be expected to prescribe the sampled product for an off-label use.
The consent judgment also requires the company to continue its "Patient First Program" at least through March 2019. The program reduces financial incentives for sales representatives to engage in deceptive marketing. In addition, the court order requires scientifically trained personnel to be ultimately responsible for developing and approving responses to health care provider questions and for the responses to be unbiased and non-promotional.
In July 2012 GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges and agreed to pay $3 billion to settle criminal and civil cases. It was the largest health care settlement paid by a drug company.