Thursday, October 28, 2010

New York Times: Glaxo to Pay $750M for Sale of Bad Products

Regulators say that GlaxoSmithKline, the British drug giant, knowingly sold tainted baby ointment, an ineffective antidepressant and contaminated drugs.

In an article written by Gardiner Harris and Duff Wilson which appeared in the New York Times-GlaxoSmithKline, the drug giant, has agreed to pay $750 million to settle criminal and civil complaints that the company for years knowingly sold contaminated baby ointment and an ineffective antidepressant.

The following are the highlights from the New York Times article:

• This settlement is the latest in a growing number of whistle-blower lawsuits that drug makers have settled with multimillion-dollar fines.

Altogether, GlaxoSmithKline sold 20 drugs with questionable safety that were made at a huge plant in Puerto Rico that for years was rife with contamination.

• Cheryl D. Eckard, the company’s quality manager, asserted in her whistle-blower suit that she had warned Glaxo of the problems but the company fired her instead of addressing them.

• Among the drugs affected were Paxil, an antidepressant; Bactroban, an ointment; Avandia, a troubled diabetes drug; Coreg, a heart drug; and Tagamet, an acid reflex drug.

• No patients were known to have been sickened, although such cases would be difficult to trace.

This is the latest in a string of quality control issues at pharmaceutical manufacturers both domestically and abroad.

Most troubling is that the contamination's impact to consumers is difficult to trace. No one can be certain if bad product may have had a significant or even lethal impact on its consumer.

While the financial settlements to GSK and others is large, overiding these amounts is the cost to their brands in lost trust and consumer confidence.

It is critical that all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain utilize technologies to protect their products, inventories and ultimately the consumer from poor quality, adulteration, fraud and counterfeiting.

To read the entire New York Times article, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical authentication solutions, visit:

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