One of the biggest news stories relating to health right now is the finalization of the biggest lawsuit yet by the American government against a pharmaceutical company.
On July 2, the British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline plead guilty to three counts of criminal misdemeanor and other civil liabilities relating to the prescription drugs Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia, and agreed to pay a total of $3 billion in fines--$1 billion to settle criminal charges, and $2 billion to cover civil liabilities.
According to the US Justice Department6, GlaxoSmithKline:
Unlawfully marketed the antidepressant Paxil to children and adolescents.
Unlawfully marketed the antidepressant Wellbutrin for weight loss and sexual dysfunction.
From 2001 through September 2007, failed to report safety data relating to clinical experience and other information as required by law to the FDA for the diabetes drug Avandia.
Why Isn't Someone Going to Jail??
According to the July 2 press release issued by GSK11, the criminal and civil liabilities resolved by this final agreement also include inappropriate marketing of six other drugs, and "possible inappropriate use of the nominal price exception under the Medicaid Rebate Program."
One aspect that truly worries me is that while the criminal cases we've seen in the past several years are related to drugs, many of these companies, including GSK, also produce VACCINES.
And guess what?
They're typically not liable for damages from, or harm done by, contaminated or otherwise dangerous vaccines! We've recently seen evidence of "mistakes" in vaccine manufacturing as well, but vaccine makers are rarely if ever punished for these willful errors and omissions, which should provide you some further food for thought.
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"The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry"
To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, to all bravely await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony. .........William Henry Channing