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Louisiana AG Files Suit Against GlaxoSmithKline Over Off-Label Marketing

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell filed a lawsuit, on behalf of the state of Louisiana, against British health care giant GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) over its illegal promotion of the drugs Paxil, Wellbutrin, Advair, Lamictal, Zofran, Imitrex, Lotronex, Flovent and Valtrex for off-label, non-covered uses in violation of state laws. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Baton Rouge, has been assigned to Judge Janice Clark of the 19th Judicial District Court.

“GSK’s egregious conduct and greed caused fraudulent claims to be submitted to the Louisiana Medicaid Program,” said Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. “As Attorney General, I will aggressively pursue and expose pharmaceutical companies who defraud our state and its citizens.”

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein said, "We stand committed with the Attorney General against this company's fraudulent practices and dangerous promotion of off-label and non-covered prescription drug use. We will continue our fight to protect the safety of Louisiana residents and the integrity of public health care services by working with all of our partners to stamp out fraud and abuse in our state."

This is the second suit Caldwell has filed against GSK on behalf of Louisiana. The first was filed in February 2011 over its diabetes drug Avandia. That lawsuit resulted from GSK’s defrauding the Louisiana Medicaid Program by illegally marketing, pricing and promoting Avandia and violating Louisiana’s consumer protection and unfair trade practices laws. That case is set for trial in June before Judge Janice Clark.

Coming soon, the attorney's general office seeks to provide a mechanism by which to take online payments for collections.