In 2001, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline put the asthma prescription drug Advair on the market. Advair was a commercial success, with sales reaching $7.8 billion by 2010. This number is impressive when you consider that Advair is limited as a treatment for asthma and its large array of adverse side effects.
Recently, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $3 billion to resolve both criminal and civil charges that it unlawfully promoted and marketed Advair. According to reports, GlaxoSmithKline agreed to counts of misbranding drugs for its labeling of Paxil and Wellbutrin as well. Wellbutrin was marketed to treat people with attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, obesity, sexual dysfunction and anxiety disorder, even though it was not shown to safely and effectively treat any of those disorders.
The settlement is the largest fraud settlement for a pharmaceutical company in the history of the United States under the False Claims Act. Hopefully, this landmark case will send a message to pharmaceutical companies that promoting off-label uses of their drugs will not be tolerated. Contact an experienced attorney if you or a loved one have been injured by a dangerous drug.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego injury lawyer.