Glaxo SmithKline pays $3 Billion in Lawsuit
Jul 02, 2012 03:00 PM EDT
In the largest healthcare fraud case in the U.S. history, Glaxo Smithkline (GSK), an international British pharmaceutical company, will pay $3 billion in a settlement. On Monday, GSK plead guilty to promoting off-label marketing charges i.e. the promotion of a drug for unapproved uses. The companies also plead guilty to bribing doctors for prescribing certain GSK drugs as well as failing to notify the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) of the side effects of one of its popular diabetes drugs.
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According to U.S. Deputy Attorney General, James Cole, the settlement was "unprecedented in both size and scope," as reported by BBC News, and will serve as a warning to other pharmaceutical and drug companies to the consequences of engaging in such malpractices.
GSK promoted two anti-depressants - Paxil and Wellbutrin in the American market for unapproved uses. The company also willingly and knowingly held back information on the side-effects of the diabetes drug called Avandia.
In addition to the settlement, the company has agreed to pay the applicable fines and will be under the supervision of the U.S. government for a five year period.
The company's chief executive, Andrew Witty, told BBC News that "procedures for compliance, marketing and selling had been changed at GSK's US unit...We have learnt from the mistakes that were made, When necessary, we have removed employees who have engaged in misconduct."
The settlement involves fines to both federal and state government in the form of criminal and civil fines.