GSK agrees mis-promoting settlement

<p>GSK will pay £63 million after mis-promoting its drugs in the US.</p>

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has confirmed it is going to pay a massive fine after admitting it mis-promoted a range of drugs in the US.

The pharmaceutical company stated that it will pay $105 million (£63 million) settlement with 44 US states and the District of Columbia following the way the firm promoted anti-depressants Paxil and Wellbutrin and asthma medication Advair.

However, GSK did not admit any wrongdoing regarding the promotion of the medication and insisted that the money it is paying out is in relation to previous issues.

"We don't feel like this is who we are today," GSK spokeswoman Mary Anne Rhyne told the BBC. "These are historic matters – they relate back to the federal government settlement in 2012 so some of these events are as long ago as 14 years."

GSK's financial situation is not expected to be affected strongly by the settlement, as Ms Rhyne pointed out that the company had already put money aside for the payment.

Undermined patient care

California attorney general Kamala Harris said in a statement: "Patient care is undermined when pharmaceutical companies promote uses for drugs that have not been approved by the [Food and Drug Administration] or pay medical professionals to promote certain drugs. This settlement requires GSK to pay a significant penalty and imposes strong new rules designed to prevent future misrepresentations of GSK products."

But GSK insisted that many of these practices are already in place and investors appeared to be mollified by the comments made by the spokeswoman as the share price of the firm was broadly flat in the early stages of trading this morning.

GSK was also told that it must not "make, or cause to be made, any written or oral claim that is false, misleading, or deceptive about any GSK product".

Shares in GSK fell slightly on the back of the settlement news, with stocks in the company down by 0.25 per cent at 08:31 BST this morning on the London Stock Exchange.

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