Big Pharma Held Accountable for Selling Unsafe Drugsposted Thu, 11 Nov 2010
Big pharmaceutical companies repeatedly name patient safety and public interest as their main points of opposition to prescription drug reimportation. Ironically, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the world’s third largest pharmaceutical company, recently admitted selling substandard drugs to Medicare and Medicaid.
GSK will pay $750 million to settle a lawsuit that charges them with knowingly producing fraudulent drugs. The drugs in question include Paxil CR, a popular antidepressant, and Avandamet, which is used to treat diabetes.
A courageous whistleblower brought this case to court. Cheryl Eckard, former quality assurance manager for GSK, shared her concerns about the quality of drugs being produced at the company’s Puerto Rican facility with the company’s leaders. The execs ignored her, but fortunately for consumers, the FDA didn’t.
This isn’t the first time a major pharmaceutical company has tried to pass inferior or unsafe drugs on to the American public. These days, prescription and over-the-counter drug recalls are everyday occurrences.
Johnson & Johnson recalled millions of bottles of Tylenol this year and was cited by the FDA for “thick dust, grime and contaminated ingredients” in one of its manufacturing facilities. Interestingly, these recalls barely register in the public consciousness.
GlaxoSmithKline settles defective-drug lawsuit for $750 million - The Washington Post
GlaxoSmithKline agrees to pay $750 million penalty for fraud - American Medical News
Posted by Melissa Maki, RXRights.org