Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that Washington’s Medicaid program, the University of Washington Medical Center and other public health providers will share part of a $3.5 million national settlement with the manufacturer of the drug Augmentin.

“This settlement with SmithKline Beecham, maker of Augmentin, comes on the heels of a similar complaint against the company concerning Paxil,” McKenna said. “Washington and other states have alleged that the company unscrupulously tried to prevent generic versions of these drugs from entering the market, resulting in higher prescription prices. This agreement helps recover some of the expenses paid by state hospitals and the Medicaid program.”

Washington will receive nearly $50,500, the majority of which will be allocated to the Department of Social and Health Services’ Medicaid program. Each state’s share is based on Augmentin purchases made between January 2000 and April 2004. The agreement does not include any finding or admission of wrongdoing.

Augmentin is manufactured by SmithKline Beecham Corp., doing business as GlaxoSmithKline and SmithKline Beecham. The drug and its generic equivalents, amoxicillin and clavulanate, are widely used antibiotics.

Earlier this year, attorneys general nationwide sued SmithKline Beecham Corp. concerning allegations that the pharmaceutical manufacturer monopolized the market for its branded drug, Paxil, and generic counterparts. The State of Washington received nearly $333,000 from the resulting $14 million settlement.

As with the Paxil settlement, Washington’s share of the Augmentin agreement will be paid to the DSHS Medicaid Program, Department of Labor & Industries, University of Washington Medical Center, Western State Hospital and Eastern State Hospital.

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Media Contacts:
Kristin Alexander, Public Information Officer, Attorney General’s Office, (206) 464-6432, kalexander@atg.wa.gov

Mark Brevard, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, (206) 464-7030