Archive: July, 2012
The misdemeanor guilty pleas and $3 billion settlement between GlaxoSmithKline and the Justice Department was a compromise. Like almost every compromise, people on either side of the issue didn't get all they would want.
GSK management and stockholders would have preferred to pay nothing and admit nothing.
The original complaint included discussion of possible inappropriate marketing of a bundle of drugs from 1999 through 2010.
The Justice Department announced that drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline had agreed to pay $3 billion and plead guilty to criminal and civil charges related to the off-label marketing of several drugs, including the diabetes drug Avandia and the anti-depressant Paxil.
Avandia reached the market but was later pulled because it was found to cause heart problems in patients.
Paxil remains on the market, but the government alleged that from April 1998 to August 2003 GSK illegally promoted Paxil for treating depression in patients under age 18, even though the FDA has never approved it for pediatric use.
AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, both of which are based in the United Kingdom and have big operations in the Philadelphia region, were busy in the last few days trying to make deals to add external pieces to their pharmaceutical portfolios.
Late Friday night, AstraZeneca announced that it would pay $3.4 billion to Amylin Pharmaceuticals - after Amylin is acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in a multi-pronged deal that amounts to about $7 billion.
Basically, AstraZeneca will share expenses and profits from Amylin with Bristol-Myers Squibb on Amylin's diabetes drugs. A link to the Friday night blog post is here.