GlaxoSmithKline’s stunning $3 billion settlement for in July for health care fraud once again opens the debate of the viability and safety of the actions of the pharmaceutical drug industry. The settlement stems from claims relating to the company’s unlawful promotion of some of their prescription drugs, including Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia. The lawsuit claims that GlaxoSmithKline published medical journals that were misleading, paid millions to doctors to promote their harmful drugs, and failed to report adverse safety data about the risks of their drugs. We have already highlighted the plight the pharmaceutical industry has laid on the American people before. In summary:
- Every day, 2,500 individuals between the ages of 12 and 17 abuse a prescription drug for the first time
- More people abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants COMBINED.
- Ever wonder why you don’t hear as much bad news about drug companies? Well the drug companies’ federal lobbying expenditures reaches nearly $300 million annually, easily the biggest of any other industry.
- Pharmaceutical companies spend nearly twice as much on marketing – $60 billion – as they do on research or development.