A GlaxoSmithKline logo is seen outside one of its buildings in west London.–Photo by Reuters

BOSTON: A US judge approved an agreement by British drug-maker GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 billion for criminal and civil violations involving 10 drugs, the largest health care fraud settlement in US history.    

The amount of money involved led US District Judge Rya Zobel to remark in court that she was having trouble keeping track of the numbers.

GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to promoting the popular antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for unapproved uses.

Government officials said in the original complaint that the company promoted Paxil as safe for children and adolescents, even though the US Food and Drug Administration hadn't approved it for those patients and the company's clinical trials raised concerns about an increased suicide risk.

Prosecutors had charged that the drug-maker promoted Wellbutrin for unapproved uses that included treating attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, obesity, sexual dysfunction and anxiety when it wasn't shown to be safe and effective for those uses.

The company also admitted that it failed to report to the government some safety problems with Avandia. In 2010, the diabetes drug was restricted in the US and banned in Europe after it was found to sharply increase the risks of heart attacks and congestive heart failure. Defense lawyer Geoffrey Hobart and Assistant US Attorney Sara Bloom declined to comment immediately following Thursday's hearing.

A GlaxoSmithKline spokesman referred later to comments CEO Sir Andrew Witty made, including that the company has learned ''from the mistakes that were made.''

When the government announced the settlement, US Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole called it historic, saying it sent a clear warning to any company that chooses to break the law.

More From This Section

Govt borrows Rs1 trillion in a month

The govt again went beyond its target to borrow through PIBs mounting debt close to Rs1 trillion in one month.

Licence auction fetches $1.12bn

The auction of 3G, 4G licences fetched $1.12bn, putting it very close to the expected $1.2bn target set by the govt.

Pakistan joins the 3G club

Zong wins 4G licence; Mobilink claims 10MHz band for 3G; Ufone, Telenor happy with 5MHz

WEF praises Pakistan’s innovation

WEF notes that Pakistan has ensured technology affordability to businesses and individual consumers.

Comments are closed.

Comments (4)

July 13, 2012 4:57 pm
GSK has made more than billions before the FDA checked them and put fine. Its too little too late. All govt. agencies are same in their speed.
July 6, 2012 7:40 am
Improve your reporting. You Newspaper is full of spelling mistakes and incorrect reporting. Make comments section available under each news so people can correct mistakes.
July 6, 2012 7:41 am
If they do this in USA .One could Imagine how much havoc they would have played with patients in our area .All these drugs are being used in Pakistan .
July 8, 2012 5:21 am
thanks DAWN for bringing such an important news to readers
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
From The Newspaper