Glaxo Agrees to Pay $750 Million for Selling Defective Drugs

An update on British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline, producer of the recently restricted diabetes drug Avandia, announced last week that the company agreed to pay $750 million to settle criminal and civil complaints over the sale of faulty drugs.

U.K's largest drug maker sold 20 questionable drugs at its former plant in Puerto Rico, including Avandia, Paxil, and Thorazine. A former Glaxo quality manager named Cheryl Eckard blew the whistle on the company and filed the first lawsuit in 2004. The lawsuit alleged that the company made false claims to government health programs because the pills were defective and posed serious safety risks.

Federal officials say the settlement is the largest whistleblower award to date in a health-care fraud case. Eckard will collect a $96 million cut of the settlement.

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