Glaxo Whacked for $3 Billion

     JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – GlaxoSmithKline will pay $3 billion to settle claims of illegal marketing and pricing of three blockbuster drugs: Avandia, Wellbutrin and Advair.
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     The settlement stems from the way Glaxo pushed Avandia, for diabetes; Wellbutrin, for depression; and Advair, for asthma.
     State and federal governments claimed Glaxo pushed the drugs for unapproved, off-label used, paid kickbacks to doctors and underpaid rebates owed to Medicaid and other government programs.
     Of the $3 billion, $2 billion is for damages and civil penalties and $1 billion is a criminal fine for Glaxo’s guilty plea to federal drug labeling and FDA reporting violations.
     Missouri will receive $31 million under the settlement, its attorney general said.
     Doctors may prescribe drugs for off-label uses – uses not approved by the FDA – but drug companies are not allowed to push their drugs for that.

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