GlaxoSmithKline $3 Billion Settlement

At $3 billion, the July 2, 2012 settlement between the U.S. government and GlaxoSmithKline happens to be the biggest single criminal and civil liability penalty against a pharmaceutical company in history (so far). Thankfully, the agreement didn’t involve suppressing all the evidence! You can read the Department of Justice summary of the case, and the complete allegations along with exhibits online.

For example: Drug representatives promoted drugs to doctors with misleading information or for unapproved uses, and gave doctors “expensive meals, weekend boondoggles, and lavish entertainment,” “trips to Bermuda and Jamaica, spa treatments and hunting trips,” and “cash payments” disguised as administrative reimbursements or consulting fees, all “to induce physicians to prescribe GSK’s drugs.”

These are important documents examining the depth and extent of corruption in medicine and psychiatry. It’s especially hard to read about so many pediatricians willing to throw the lives of children away, putting them on dangerous, unapproved drugs. Notably, the doctors don’t seem to get charged with anything in any of these types of cases, only the companies.