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Florida gets $56 million in GlaxoSmithKline Medicaid fraud settlement

In what is being called the largest healthcare fraud settlement in the nation's history, pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay $3 billion for its transgressions. Florida's share is $56.7 million.

According to a news release from Attorney General Pam Bondi's office, GlaxoSmithKline is accused of unlawfully marketing drugs for uses that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, misleading the public about the safety and effectiveness of certain drugs, offering kickbacks to medical professionals, and stiffing government programs, including Medicaid, on rebates owed.

“My office has worked with others to reach the largest healthcare fraud settlement in United States history," Bondi said in the news release. "I am proud to say that this agreement makes Florida whole for the deceptive practices that misled consumers and defrauded the Medicaid program out of money.”

Heavily marketed drugs like Paxil, Avandia, Advair and Valtrex are named in the settlement. For example, the anit-depression pill Paxil was promoted for off-label uses by children and adolescents. As part of the settlement, GlaxoSmithKline also plead guilty to criminal charges.

Here is how Florida's $56.7 million portion of the settlement will be allocated:

-$31.8 million to the federal government;
-$11.3 million to Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration;
-$10 million to the state's general fund;
-$1.1 million to the Attorney General Office's;
-$2.4 million will be paid to whistleblowers who were instrumental in the investigation.

Read Bondi's full news release here.