I'm not impressed with the recent $3 billion dollars in fines and penalties the Department of Justice settled for in litigation against GlaxoSmithKline; it is a paltry sum when one considers how much these robber barons pinched from out of our collective pockets... The amount pales even further when one adds the the human toll paid for GSK's corporate malfeasance. While this settlement is the largest one to date; it is but a drop in the bucket. Lets be clear: The drugs GSK illegally marketed, were unethically prescribed by physicians who bought into GSK's marketing hype, and who convinced other medical professionals to do the same---to their patient's detriment.
One of the reasons this criminal enterprise was so successful, is because the FDA rolled over and played dead once the drugs were FDA approved. The FDA has failed to regulate the direct to consumer and direct to professional marketing of any of the FDA approved drugs involved in Federal litigation. I see no victory in the DOJ later retrieving a small percentage of what was stolen from patients by these modern day robber barons. Do not forget, much of this money was in effect, willingly handed over to these robbers barons on a silver platter through fraudulent claims paid by Medicaid and Medicare. Claims that should not have been paid; magically were. Fraudulent claims still are being paid for the off-label prescription of psychiatric drugs to children on Medicaid in case anyone cares...
It is true that we have been robbed, but every single Federal program failed in it's duty to the American people---which gives the appearance these programs are serving the interests of industry; not the interests of patients...
The FDA failed to regulate the direct to professional marketing of the drugs. As a result, physicians wrote prescriptions that should not have been written.
In 2010, Advair sales amounted to $7.8 billion in revenue for GSK; so $3 billion is a very small drop in a very large bucket...By the way, that $7.8 billion, "fell slightly short of analysts' projections." Don't your heart just bleed a little for GSK reading that?
Big Ten Branded Drug Blockbusters of 2010World’s Top Selling Branded Pharmaceuticals
4. Advair Diskus
Sales: $7.8 billion Generic name: fluticasone; salmetrol
Advair Diskus is prescribed for the management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD) symptoms.
Sales of GlaxxoSmithKline's Advair fell slightly short of analysts' projections, partly due to loss of patent protection in several European countries.
NONE of this could have been accomplished
without the participation of Doctors...
For more on Andrew Witty, the CEO of GSK, read Bobby Fiddaman's blog:GlaxoSmithKline: The Andrew Witty Era