Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Big Pharma - Big Fraud

SOYMB has highlighted the nefarious practices of the pharmaceutical companies before and once more it has been exposed in the law courts. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to pay $3bn (£1.9bn) in the largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history. The drug giant is to plead guilty to promoting two drugs for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a diabetes drug to the Food and Drug Administration. The case concerns the drugs Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia.

GSK, one of the world's largest healthcare and pharmaceuticals companies, admitted to promoting antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for unapproved uses, including treatment of children and adolescents.The illegal practice is known as off-label marketing. The company  held back data and made unsupported safety claims over its diabetes drug Avandia. In addition, GSK has been found guilty of paying kickbacks to doctors.

"The sales force bribed physicians to prescribe GSK products using every imaginable form of high-priced entertainment, from Hawaiian vacations [and] paying doctors millions of dollars to go on speaking tours, to tickets to Madonna concerts,
" said US attorney Carmin Ortiz.

GSK agreed to be monitored by government officials for five years. GSK said in a statement it would pay the fines through existing cash resources. Acting assistant attorney general Stuart Delery said . "For far too long, we have heard that the pharmaceutical industry views these settlements merely as the cost of doing business."
Indeed, when it seems apparent that the company pays the fines from its loose change box. Investors shrugged off the record settlement, which had been in the works for months. US-traded GSK shares were up 1.6 percent in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

As we asked concerning the bankers - where is the jail time?

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