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GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 billion to settle largest ever US drug fraud scandal.

Washington, July 3 ( ANI ): Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will pay three billion dollars in the largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history.

According to The BBC, GSK is guilty of promoting two drugs not approved for use, and for failing to report safety data about a diabetes drug to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The settlement will cover criminal fines and civil settlements with the federal and state governments.

Deputy US Attorney General James Cole told a news conference in Washington that the settlement was 'unprecedented in both size and scope'.

GSK admitted to promoting antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for unapproved uses, including treatment of children and adolescents.

The company also conceded charges that it held back data and made unsupported safety claims over its diabetes drug Avandia.

In addition, GSK has also 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," US attorney Carmin Ortiz said.

Andrew Witty, the firm's chief executive, said procedures for compliance, marketing and selling had been changed at GSK's US unit.

"We have learnt from the mistakes that were made," Witty said adding: "When necessary, we have removed employees who have engaged in misconduct." ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jul 3, 2012
Words:241
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