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GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3B in health care fraud suit

A building for GlaxoSmithKline is seen in this file photo.
July 2, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will pay an unprecedented $3 billion in fines and has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges.

The Justice Department announced the health care fraud settlement Monday morning, making it the largest payment ever by a drug company.

The pharmaceutical giant is accused of illegally promoting the anti-depressants Paxil and Wellbutrin. Prosecutors say GlaxoSmithKline promoted uses for those drugs that were not approved.

The company is also accused of failing to report heart risks associated with its diabetes drug Avandia.

Accompanying the criminal case was a civil settlement in which the government said the company's improper marketing included providing doctors with expensive resort vacations, European hunting trips, high-paid speaking tours and even tickets to a Madonna concert.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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