[SaneVax: After pleading guilty to healthcare fraud, GSK was ordered to pay a three billion dollar fine. That sounds like a hefty fine to the average medical consumer, but what does it mean to a corporation with a market capitalization of over $115 billion? Can you spell ‘slap on the wrist’?]
GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 billion fine after pleading guilty to healthcare fraud – the biggest in U.S. history
By Daily Mail Reporter
A UK drugs firm has been hit with a $3billion penalty after admitting to the ‘biggest healthcare fraud in history’.
GlaxoSmithKline paid U.S. medics to prescribe potentially dangerous medicines to adults and children.
It handed out cash as well as everything from Madonna concert tickets to pheasant-hunting trips. Authorities branded GSK as ‘cheaters who thought they could make an easy profit at the expense of public safety, taxpayers, and millions of Americans’.
The enormous settlement – believed to be the largest ever for a drugs firm – covers offences relating to some of GSK’s best-selling drugs between 1997 and 2004.
It bribed doctors to prescribe Paxil to children even though the authorities had not approved its use for under-18s.
The controversial depression drug has been linked to a higher risk of suicide both in the US and here, where it is known as Seroxat.
The main charges also relate to Wellbutrin, another drugs for treating depression, and Avandia, a diabetes treatment.