The mammoth drug maker GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay a record $3 billion fraud settlement with the Justice Department in a deal announced Monday about the way the company marketed and sold some of its most popular drugs.
The company pleaded guilty to three crimes and agreed to hand over $1 billion for how it marketed the antidepressants Wellbutrin and Paxil and for failing to report some data to the FDA for the diabetes drug Avandia.
The Justice Department said the company marketed Wellbutrin as a treatment for a variety of conditions it was never approved for, including sexual problems and drug addiction. It also said the company pushed Paxil as a treatment for people younger than 18 even though it was only approved for adults.
GlaxoSmithKline also agreed to pay another $2 billion to settle civil claims about its marketing, including kickbacks that went to doctors who prescribed the company’s drugs.
The government called it the largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history. The Justice Department posted numerous documents from the case on its website.
Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him: nick [at] talkingpointsmemo.com