At least a dozen major drug and device makers are under investigation by federal prosecutors and securities regulators in a broadening bribery inquiry into whether the companies made illegal payments to doctors and health officials in foreign countries. In previous investigations, federal officials have charged that some companies made these kinds of payments to encourage doctors abroad to order or prescribe their products.
One of the best TV exposés on Big Pharma we’ve seen, “People & Power —Drug Money” produced by Aljazeera. This piece pulls no punches exposing the rampant fraud, fatal drug side effects, off label marketing, criminal practices and “absolutely jaw dropping” payouts Pharma makes to psychiatrists/doctors. Sharon Ormsky, FBI Financial Crimes Unit states, “Pharmaceutical fraud is one of our top three threats — everybody is touched by these frauds in the extent that when you look at the billions of dollars that go into healthcare for the United States, a good percent, 3-10% of that is believed to be siphoned off into fraud—that’s money that could be going to very needy patients.”
U.K. pharmaceutical firms GlaxoSmithKline PLC and AstraZeneca PLC are facing a corruption investigation in the U.S. over claims that the hospitality lavished on those who prescribe their treatments could constitute bribery, The Independent newspaper in London reported Saturday, without citing sources.
The US Department of Justice is scrutinising payments by leading pharmaceuticals companies for hospitality, consultants, licensing agreements and charitable donations in markets around the world as part of a wide-ranging corruption probe. GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly, among others, have disclosed being contacted by the DoJ and Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the investigation.
In an effort to get its arms around massive litigation, GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to settle yet another wad of product-liability lawsuits involving one of its popular meds. The latest deal involves an agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle some 800 cases alleging its Paxil antidepressant caused birth defects in children borne to women who took the drug, Bloomberg News writes.