A U.K. drug company has agreed to pay $3 billion to end U.S. criminal and civil investigations into whether it marketed drugs for unapproved uses and other matters.
The company, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, was being probed for its sales and marketing practices for drugs including the antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin, according to The Associated Press. The company was also facing questions about its development and marketing of a diabetes drug called Avandia, which has been withdrawn from the European market and limited in the United States because of increased heart attack risks.
An investigation was begun by the U.S. Attorney’s office of Colorado in 2004 and later taken over by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Massachusetts into whether the company was promoting drugs for unapproved uses, and influencing doctors to prescribe them.
The Justice Department also launched investigations into possible inappropriate use of the nominal price exception under the Medicaid Rebate Program, according to The Washington Post.
The $3 billion settlement, which Glaxo says will be paid with its “cash resources,” will be the largest pharmaceutical marketing settlement in U.S. history.