Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has preliminarily agreed to a $3 billion settlement over the sales and marketing practices of several of its drugs, including the diabetes drug Avandia.
This represents the largest federal drug-company settlement to date, surpassing the $2.3 billion paid by Pfizer in 2009 for illegally promoting off-label uses of four of its drugs.
The sum, though extraordinarily large by most people’s standards, represents only a slap on the wrist to the drug giant, which assured investors the payments would be funded by “existing cash resources.”
To put things into perspective, GlaxoSmithKline has a market value of more than $110 billion, according to the New York Times.
It started in 2004, when federal prosecutors began investigating the drug maker for marketing a handful of its drugs for unapproved uses, as well as the suspect techniques their reps used to influence doctors. The settlement also includes a U.S. Justice Department probe into potential Medicaid reimbursement fraud, as well as an investigation into the company’s development and marketing of the Avandia diabetes drug.
After hitting the market in 1999, a 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine linked Avandia to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack, and a 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death, compared to patients treated with other methods!
There are no comments yet. Why not be the first to speak your mind.