May 4, 2013
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a British drugmaker, whose products include Wellbutrin, Paxil, Advair, Avandia, Boniva, and many others was found guilty last year on three accounts of fraud and has been fined 3 BILLION dollars. This is the largest health care fraud settlement in US history.
The three counts of fraud are (1) Withholding seven years of safety problems with their diabetes drug Avandia. Specifically, GSK knew about the increase risk of heart attacks and strokes but didn’t report these findings to the FDA. Avandia has been linked with 100,000 heart attacks since 1999 when it was released. (2) Promoting drugs for off-label uses including paying doctors kickbacks for prescribing Wellbutrin and Paxil to children even though it is only approved for those over 18. (3) Overcharging Medicaid for some of its drugs.
There has been a long history of drugmakers fraudulent practices. A search on the internet will bring up multiple examples. This should cause doctors and patients to be very concerned about the safety of many of the drugs on the market even if they have a long history of being safe.