$3 Billion Fine Levied Against GlaxoSmithKline, Maker of Avandia
July 2012—In what The New York Times is reporting as the largest health fraud settlement in U. S. history, British-based pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (Glaxo) agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and to pay a $3 billion fine to the U. S. government. Under the whistler-blower law, known as the False Claims Act, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) charged Glaxo with three counts of fraud including promoting off-label use for Paxil and Wellbutrin (anti-depressants), willfully holding back data and making unsupported claims regarding Avandia (ant-diabetic), and using improper and unethical tactics to prompt script-writing by doctors for numerous drugs.
With information provided by four former Glaxo employees, including a former senior marketing development manager and regional vice president, covering a period from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, the government’s case first gathered steam under the leadership of former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and his colleagues. While this is a history-making payment, many argue the fine merely dents the economic machine that is Glaxo. In the years covered by the settlement, Glaxo earned over $27 billion in total sales just with these three drugs: Avandia earned $10.4 billion, Paxil earned $11.1 billion, and Wellbutrin earned $5.9 billion.
While some consumers have found help using Glaxo products, others have suffered serious, life-threatening conditions due to the manufacturer’s unwillingness to inform the public about the serious side effects from long-term use. Any individual or the relative of an individual who has suffered due to a drug’s side effects is permitted to file a lawsuit. The lawyers can help you determine whether you are qualified to seek compensation. You may be eligible to seek reimbursement for medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, and punitive damages (compensation granted for losses suffered).
We can match your case with attorneys who have the experience to handle even the most complex claims and is accepting new cases. If you need further information about the harmful side effects of Avandia, Paxil, or Wellbutrin or legal advice concerning personal injury matters, we invite you to contact us or to fill out our form on this website for a free case evaluation.