Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will pay the federal government $3 billion to settle an investigation involving questionable sales, marketing and pricing practices utilized by the company.
The news was announced Monday by Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole.
GlaxoSmithKline was found to have illegally marketed and promoted the anti-depression drugs Paxil and Wellbutrin for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company also failed to provide the FDA with key clinical data about the diet drug Avandia.
More from DoJ:
“GSK will pay an additional $2 billion to resolve civil allegations that it caused false claims to be submitted to federal health care programs for these and other drugs as a result of the company’s illegal promotional practices and payments to physicians. This settlement also resolves a civil investigation of the company’s alleged underpayment of rebates that were required under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program.”
During a press conference, Cole remarked on the historic nature of the settlement.
“Today’s multi-billion dollar settlement is unprecedented in both size and scope,” he said. “It underscores this Administration’s firm commitment to protecting the American people and holding accountable those who commit health care fraud.”
In a statement, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Sir Andrew Witty expressed remorse over the fraudulent practices that prompted the investigation.
“Today brings to resolution difficult, long-standing matters for GSK. Whilst these originate in a different era for the company, they cannot and will not be ignored. On behalf of GSK, I want to express our regret and reiterate that we have learnt from the mistakes that were made.
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