GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) pleaded guilty and is agreeing to pay $3 billion in a settlement to make criminal and civil charges go away.
According to the United States Justice Department, the British multinational pharmaceutical company was illegally promoting prescription drugs and failing to report its safety data. In addition, the department stated that this health-care fraud settlement is the largest in the United States.
“When our clients were forced out of their marketing positions, GlaxoSmithKline (‘GSK’) had proof of illegal off-label prescription drug marketing. Our clients properly reported those marketing misdeeds to management in 2001. An ensuing GSK internal investigation verified their allegations, but the company took no action, choosing hefty profits over compliance and patient safety,” said whistleblower attorney Tavy Deming of Kenney and McCafferty.
“GSK could have saved hundreds of millions, perhaps a billion or more dollars of the $3 billion it paid today by following through on the combined Human Resources /Corporate Compliance investigation they launched. Instead they ignored evidence of improper marketing and physician kickbacks. When you look at the detail and accuracy of Greg Thorpe’s written complaints distributed to the highest levels of Glaxo (See ‘Document Links’ Below) it’s almost surreal that the company took no corrective action. Now more than a decade later, GSK is essentially admitting that Thorpe had been right in 2001,” Kenney said. “It’s been a very, very, very long 10 years for whistleblowers Thorpe and
Advair, Flovent, Imitrex, Lamictal, Lotronex, Paxil, Valtrex, Wellbutrin, and Zofran were the nine prescription drugs involved in this settlement.