July 3, 2012
Drug companies have a responsibility to test and report the safety of their products before they go on the market to prevent a drug injury. Failure to do so can result in the drug being pulled from shelves, and possibly, legal action being taken against the company responsible.
Take, for instance, the case of GlaxoSmithKline, reported by CNN News which stated the company had failed to report safety data on certain drugs and marketed others for conditions in which the drug was not approved to treat. These violations resulted in the company being fined more than $3 billion, the largest fraud settlement ever paid by a drug company.
The fines were imposed by the US Justice Department after the company marketed Wellbutrin, an antidepressant, as a weight loss drug. Also, Paxil, a medication used in adults to treat depression and anxiety, was marketed toward children and teens.
It was also discovered that the company failed to report safety results for the diabetes drug Avandia, which put patients at risk of cardiovascular complications.
In addition to the large sum of money, the company has signed a five-year compliance deal with the Department of Health and Human Services, which states executives could personally lose money if the company is found to engage in any wrongdoing.