The drug firm industry is so lucrative that major pharmaceutical firms often illegally market their medications to rake in extra profits. GlaxoSmithKline is the latest manufacturer to suffer severe sanctions for such behavior when it agreed to a $3 billion settlement, the largest healthcare fraud payout ever in the U.S.
GlaxoSmithKline's said illegal actions began as early as 1998, when it marketed Paxil as an antidepressant for children young than 18, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not approved this use.
The drug firm also illegally marketed Wellbutrin, beginning in 1999. The FDA approved the drug for treating major depression, but GlaxoSmithKline also advertised it as a medication for weight loss and sexual dysfunction.
GlaxoSmithKline was also investigated for its marketing of Avandia, a medication for treatment of diabetes. The drug firm tried to discreetly market Avandia for purposes other than those approved by the FDA.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and other government authorities have little tolerance for drug firms' illegal marketing practices. These practices have become alarmingly common amongst manufacturers in a highly competitive drug market, but the actions compromise consumer safety and often put millions of patients' lives at risk.
If you've suffered serious harm from the side effects of Avandia, Paxil or Wellbutrin, contact an experienced Michigan defective drug attorney to discuss your legal options.
McKeen & Associates is a highly regarded law firm that assists victims of medication errors. Call us to speak with a skilled attorney.
Source: AboutLawsuits.com, "GSK To Pay $3B For Illegal Marketing Of Avandia, Paxil, Wellbutrin," Ricky Allen, July 3, 2012