The Utah Attorney General has filed a lawsuit charging GlaxoSmithKline illegally marketed its controversial Avandia diabetes pill as a new “wonder drug” that would reduce cardiovascular risks for diabetes, but instead increased the possibility of heart attacks. Consequently, the AG alleges Glaxo hoodwinked the state Medicaid program out of $7.8 million, which is the amount Utah spent to purchase Avandia between Jan. 1, 2001 and June 30, 2010 - a lost decade, of sorts.
“The state of Utah will continue to seek the most effective and safest treatment for its residents and expects pharmaceutical companies to fairly and accurately represent the safety and efficacy of their products," Utah AG Mark Shurtleff says in a statement. "If the pharmaceutical companies breach that trust, then we will come after them" (here is the lawsuit).
This development is hardly surprising. Numerous states have filed lawsuits against numerous drugmakers over the past few years - notably those selling antipsychotics - after safety issues were revealed about their meds. And recently, the US Department of Justice issued a subpoena to Glaxo and several state attorneys general issued Civil Investigative Demands over concerns the drugmaker failed to properly disclose clinical trial data and related marketing efforts (back story).