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$3 billion settlement expected in GlaxoSmithKline drug-marketing probe
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Washington Post

Washington Post, November 3, 2011
Posted: December 6th, 2011

The British drugmaker Glaxo-SmithKline has tentatively agreed to pay the U.S. government $3 billion to settle multiple civil and criminal investigations, the largest settlement in the federal governments recent crackdown on the pharmaceutical industrys marketing practices. If the deal is finalized, it will mark the latest success in the federal governments push to rein in drug companies promotional efforts. Of the 165 settlements reached between pharmaceutical companies and federal and state governments in the past two decades, about three-quarters took place between 2006 and 2010, according to a report by Public Citizen. Before the Glaxo agreement, the largest federal settlements took place in 2009: Pfizer paid $2.3 billion to settle federal investigations tied to the promotion of the anti-inflammatory drug Bextra and other drugs, and Eli Lilly & Co. paid $1.4 billion related to the marketing of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa. Still, consumer advocates said the penalties are not enough. The size of the penalties, although large, are not as large as the money [the drug companies] make and so they keep doing it over again, said Sidney M. Wolfe, director of Public Citizens health research group. The only way this is going to stop, or get reversed, is to greatly increase the size of the penalties or to start sending some of the executives to jail.

Note: For insight into corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, click here.

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