Glaxo Settles Avandia Case for $3 Billion

     (CN) – GlaxoSmithKline will pay $3 billion to settle criminal and civil investigations of its marketing of several drugs, including the diabetes drug Avandia. If approved, the federal settlement would be the biggest ever for a drug company accused of illegally pushing its drugs.



     Pfizer settled a similar case for $2.3 billion in 2009.
     Glaxo said the settlement would also close federal investigation of its Medicaid pricing, and investigations by state attorneys general across the country about how Glaxo pushed and sold nine of its drugs since 2004.
     Glaxo, the world’s fourth-largest drug company, reported nearly $50 billion in revenue last year.
     GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty said in a statement that the company has “fundamentally changed our procedures for compliance, marketing and selling” drugs and that the settlement does “not reflect the company that we are today.”
     Courthouse News’ database contains 1,500 lawsuits involving Avandia since 2007.
     In June, Glaxo agreed to pay more than $40 million to 37 states and Washington D.C. to settle complaints about a plant in Puerto Rico. It paid a $750 million to the federal government in 2010 for problems in the same plant in Puerto Rico.
     On Thursday, the day Glaxo announced the settlement, a Houston man sued the company, saying he suffered a stroke “which the doctors at the Veterans Hospital could not explain except that it was associated with the plaintiff’s ingestion of the drug Avandia.”
     Plaintiff Leo Decuir Jr. says Glaxo made more than $2 billion from Avandia.

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