GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to a $750 million settlement with the Department of Justice (DoJ) relating to the investigation of criminal and civil complaints that the drug company knowingly sold bad drugs and contaminated baby ointment, the New York Times has reported. The settlement is the latest in a growing number of whistler-blower lawsuits that drug makers have agreed to pay multi-million-dollar fines to settle.
The whistle-blower, a Glaxo quality manager, claims in the lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline that she warned the company that its manufacturing facility in Puerto Rico for years was rife with contamination. Instead of addressing the safety problems, Glaxo fired her. About “$600 million of the settlement amount will go to the federal government and participating states to resolve the civil false-claims allegations,” according to report in the Wall Street Journal. The whistle-blower may receive $96 million of the settlement.
Drugs affected include Type 2 diabetes drug Avandia, antidepressant Paxil, baby ointment Bactoban, heart drug Coreg and acid reflux drug Tagamet. GlaxoSmithKline’s Peurto Rican drug plant was closed in 1999.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, GSK states: “This settlement resolves a significant and long-standing legal issue facing the company.” It continues, “We regret that we operated the Cidra facility in a manner that was inconsistent with current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements….”
Avandia lawsuits continue to be filed against GlaxoSmithKline claiming the diabetes drug caused patients to suffer heart attack, stroke and congestive heat failure. Glaxo has agreed to pay Avandia settlements totaling more than $500 million in 2010. Avandia settlements amounts have vary depending on the specific facts of each case.
The attorneys at AvandiaRecallNews.com no longer are accepting new Avandia cases.