The decision has finally been made on how much money the State of Vermont will be receiving as its share of the $750 million dollar settlement that GlaxoSmithKline made after the fiasco that happened at the manufacturing plant in Cidra, Puerto Rico, involving the popular drugs Avandia and Paxil CR.
After charges of bad manufacturing practices made by a whistleblower came to light, Glaxo settled a lawsuit by agreeing to pay out $750 million in damages, penalties and fines. Of that settlement, it has been decided that the state of Vermont will receive $136,000, which amounts to double what the state’s Medicaid Program paid for drugs like Avandia and Paxil that were deemed to be adulterated and even packaged with wrong dosages.
Other claims that were made against Glaxo in this case included that the drugs were manufactured using water that was tainted, and even that the Paxil and Avandia were packaged together. When the whistleblower in the case, quality control manager Cheryl Eckard, brought these mistakes to the attention of executives at the plant after a routine inspection, she claimed that her warnings went ignored. She was awarded $96 million of the settlement.
In an agreement made with the federal government, Glaxo will keeping a much firmer eye on the manufacturing practices of their other plants. After this, they will want to turn themselves into the model for good practices. Glaxo has since closed down the plant in Cidra, Puerto Rico, but the company maintains that it was not over the situation that occurred at the plant.
So far, Vermont is the first state to receive money from this settlement, but more awards are certain to come out as a result of the mistakes made in Cidra. As for Glaxo, the lawsuits continue to pile up amid claims that the company hid data about the severe and potentially life threatening side effects from its drugs including Paxil and Avandia. The company already paid as much as $1 billion in settlements. The reward to Vermont is just the tip of the iceberg.