THE DEED- The international pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was recently caught and plead guilty to criminal activities.
Evidently, GSK was found guilty of “promoting the drugs Paxil, Wellbutrin, Advair, Lamictal and Zofran for off-label, non-covered uses, and paying kickbacks to physicians to prescribe those drugs as well as the drugs Imitrex, Lotronex, Flovent and Valtrex; making false and misleading statements concerning the safety of Avandia; reporting false best prices and underpaying rebates owed under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program.”
THE PUNISHMENT- For purposely committing these crimes, GSK was ordered to pay $3 billion and execute a five-year corporate integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services.
WHO WON?- Not the consumers. In the end, after getting caught in a well-orchestrated scheme of fraud, kickbacks and rewards that influenced many MDs and potentially endangered the lives of millions of patients – many of those children – GSK plead guilty to a few misdemeanors and paid such a small fine that they simply paid it out of cash reserves. Their stock actually even rose 1.6% to a share price of $46.30 after the judgment.
GSK, according to the judgement, can go right on selling the very drugs in question. It didn’t lose its license to sell these drugs and is not banned from making more money in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
In the end, the fraudulent marketing scheme worked out well. They had to give a small percent of profits back, but overall the move was simply good business.
Hope this helps,
Dr Matt and Dr Robin
This week’s bit of Useless Information: Germans have a word (“backpfeifengesicht”) for a face that badly needs a punch.
This email is courtesy of Matthew Barnes, D.C. and Robin Barnes, D.C. Neither this nor any of our emails are intended to be medical advice and should not be taken as such. They are opinion and are for informational purposes only. None of the nutrients discussed here are meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.