GlaxoSmithKline Pleads Guilty in Fraud Case

Well-known pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline’s guilty pleas were part of the nation’s largest health-care fraud settlement, under which GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $3 billion, including more than $35 million to the Massachusetts Medicaid program, to resolve allegations that the company engaged in illegal schemes related to the marketing and pricing of some of the drugs that it manufactures, more specifically, Paxil and Wellbutrin. The company also pleaded guilty to failing to report safety data to the FDA about the drug Avandia.

GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $3 billion in total to resolve all of its criminal and civil liabilty related to this fraud scheme.

Even celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky has been linked with the fraud. He was accused of taking payments from GlaxoSmithKline to promote the two antidepressant medications. “In the late 90’s I was hired to participate in a 2-year initiative discussing intimacy and depression which was funded by an educational grant by Glaxo Wellcome,” Pinsky told HealthPop in a statement. “Services for the non-branded campaign included town hall meetings, writings and multimedia activities in conjunction with the patient advocacy group the National Depresive and Manic Depressive Association (NDMDA). My comments were consistent with my clinical experience.” Pinsky was mentioned in the complaint filed by the Unites States government against the company.

The complaint states that “Pinsky allegedly received two payments in March 2009 and April 2009 from GlaxoSmithKline totaling $275,000 to promote Wellbutrin SR.” The Wall Street Journal reports that in 1999, Pinsky made statements on a television and radio show. In these statements, Pinsky claimed that he prescribed the drug Wellbutrin to depressed patients because it “may enhance or at least not suppress sexual arousal,” like other similar medications are known to do. Pinsky has also been accused of promoting the drug for uses that had not been approved by the FDA.

If you or someone you know has been charged with fraud, it will be in your best interests to speak with an experienced federal criminal lawyer. The criminal defense lawyers at The Mace Firm are ready to speak with you about your case. Call one of the Myrtle Beach criminal defense lawyers to schedule your free consultation.

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