Drug company fined for Avandia marketing

Mon, 07 Nov 2011
Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to pay a nearly GBP1.9 billion fine for their development and marketing of the type 2 diabetes drug Avandia, as well as the sales and marketing of two anti-depressants and problems with the Medicaid Rebate Program.

GSK has agreed to pay the huge fine, one of the biggest ever given to a pharmaceuticals company, in order to settle the dispute with the US government to end three cases going back to 1997 regarding nine separate drugs. The cases focus on the investigation by the US Department of Justice over the controversial diabetes drug Avandia and the anti-depressants Wellbutrin and Paxil,

Although GSK had put aside monies to cover the legal fines, many to do with Avandia, which was removed from sale across Europe due to concerns that it could cause a higher risk of heart attack, the decision means that the company will also have to pay the cash costs.

Andrew Witty, chief executive of the firm, "This is a significant step toward resolving difficult, long-standing matters which do not reflect the company that we are today."

He added "In recent years, we have fundamentally changed our procedures for compliance, marketing and selling in the US to ensure that we operate with high standards of integrity and that we conduct our business openly and transparently."
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