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Glaxo paid doctors large sums to shill for the company

July 5, 2012
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, almost 13 years ago, popular radio and television personality Dr. Drew Pinsky received $275,000 from Glaxo (GlaxoSmithKline), the maker of antidepressant Wellbutrin. “Dr. Drew” told his listeners that he prescribed the drug to his depressed patients. Glaxo has admitted that from January 1999 to December 2003, there were occasions when Wellbutrin was marketed to physicians for uses which were not FDA-approved in violation of federal law. Glaxo is accused of paying other doctors large sums to shill for the company. On Monday, its U.S. unit agreed to plead guilty and pay a criminal fine of $956.8 million for marketing drugs for unapproved uses. The company also admitted that it didn’t report safety data of its Avandia diabetes drug to regulators, and illegally promoted Paxil for adolescents and children. Glaxo will pay $2 billion to resolve its civil liabilities with the federal government under the False Claims Act. For more on Dr. Drew’s relationship with Wellbutrin, read the Wall Street Journal.

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