Originally published December 5 2011
GSK pays US government record $3 billion for illegally marketing drugs (but CEO and executives not held criminally responsible)
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The pharmaceutical industry is notorious for getting away with murder, both figuratively and literally, without so much as a slap on the wrist from the justice system. And a recent settlement involving drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) only further exposes the fact that Big Pharma is free to break the law as long as it pays off Big Government, its partner in crime.
The latest dog and pony show involves the US government addressing GSK's illegal activity over the years in peddling its deadly chemical cocktails. After being exposed for illegally marketing drugs, paying off doctors to promote dangerous drugs, and manipulating scientific data to get dangerous drugs approved, GSK has essentially been pardoned by the US government in exchange for $3 billion.
Sure, $3 billion might sound like a lot of money to most people. But GSK raked in roughly $43 billion in revenue just last year. So this settlement is a mere drop in the bucket for GSK, and it really does nothing to satisfy the demands of justice. It does, however, conveniently transfer $3 billion in payoff money to the federal government, which has allowed GSK to get away with its crimes for years.
NaturalNews readers will recall the 2010 Senate Finance Committee report that exposed GSK for deliberately hiding evidence about the dangers of its diabetes drug Avandia. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) worked hand-in-hand with GSK to downplay Avandia's dangers, effectively preserving billions of dollars in yearly revenue for GSK from the sale of the "blockbuster" drug (http://www.naturalnews.com/028233_GlaxoSmith...).
There are literally tens of thousands of lawsuits currently pending against GSK over Avandia, not to mention countless known instances of the company's blatant criminal activity in marketing it. But did the FDA ever decide to pull Avandia from the market to protect consumers? Of course not. And there is no indication that any of GSK's executives will be held personally responsible for such crimes, either.
"Who at Glaxo is going to jail as a part of this settlement?" asked Patrick Burns, spokesman for Taxpayers Against Fraud, an advocacy group for whistleblowers. "Who in management is being excluded from doing future business with the US government?"
The New York man who recently pleaded guilty to selling illegal kidneys faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine (http://www.naturalnews.com/034060_organ_traf...). But drug company executives involved in committing numerous crimes that have bilked taxpayers and insurance companies out of billions -- and that have inadvertently injured and killed thousands of patients in the process -- are let off free for a measly fraction of their company's yearly revenues.
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