OK

Oooh, better get the pesky CEOs to sign one of the FDA's 5-year "Integrity" agreements! $3 billion fines and agreements do not prevent Pharma from their criminal, for profit, deeds. CEO's need to go to jail. That's the only thing that might protect our children and us, and stop rampant fraud by big pharmaceutical corporations.

This is not the first time pharma was caught and given a huge fine~! Not true. Another diary presented the $3 billion GlaxoSmithKline fine from a personal point of view which I respect. But the diarist is wrong about past settlements paid by these creeps.

Big Pharma has long been accused of similarly unethical tactics, but for the first time, one of its largest offenders has been caught red handed and forced to pay out as punishment. Pharmaceutical Greed and Its Consequences+
Normally I wouldn't mention this, but I think it really matters and below I will show why and how. This criminal behavior goes far beyond "unethical." Yet many huge fines have not deterred the CEO pharma criminals. They merely shuffle an offending CEO off to head another huge pharma corp. Investors say:  “We regard such disputes as an innate risk for large multinational pharmaceutical companies.” Compliments of foxbusiness

See chart below for number of times huge pharma corps have been found guilty of criminal acts. GSK was judged CRIMINAL. For at least the 11th time. And this time for 10 different drugs! First though, attention to what I believe to be the worst thing of all-- the dirty deed that most outrages me.

What did Glaxo do? Go below the squiggle.

        Glaxo was charged with promoting to kids under 18
         an antidepressant approved only for adults.....
Um, knowing that it could harm them and cause suicidality among teens.

Should not CEOs go to jail for selling Paxil for use by children! When it is not approved for that. Not authorized for children.  NOT AUTHORIZED!! I ask you, what could be worse than that? Either the laws of the FDA mean something or they do not. Yet FDA makes them sign "Integrity" agreements. HA. They are such a joke!
Are they not the real drug thugs?

Huge settlements do not stop pharma from unlawful, dangerous behavior. People go to jail for taking "recreational" drugs. For pushing drugs. Should not someone go to jail for selling an unapproved drug, Paxil, for use by children! While knowing it could be bad for them?

Top 20 Largest Pharmaceutical Company Settlements, 1991-2010

"Mis-marketing" is what they like to call it. Sounds fairly benign. But it can be deadly, make no mistake. This continues unabated, it would seem. You only have to look at the records of the scores of times they have been caught "behaving badly" to understand that the fines do not deter the evil behavior. To the huge profitable corporations it is just to knowingly sell drugs that can harm people rather than help them. Knowingly, for it is just "the cost of doing business." Timeline of pharma settlements.

In the case of Paxil, prosecutors claim GlaxoSmithKline employed several tactics aimed at promoting the use of the drug in children, including helping to publish a medical journal article that misreported data from a clinical trial.

A warning was later added to the drug that Paxil, like other antidepressants, might increase the risk of suicidal thoughts in teenagers.
NYTimes
my bold

This week's GSK fine of $3b for criminal and civil violationsinvolves fraud on ten different 10 drugs which millions of people take every day. There's never been a settlement quite this large.

But in a 22 month period ending in 10/5/2010 $6 billion was paid by 11 companies, including Pfizer's $2.3b fine.

$3 billion may sound like a lot of money, but during these years Glaxo made $27.5 billion on these three antidepressants alone.... -- so the penalty could almost be considered a cost of doing business.
my bold Robert Reich
Reich and Spitzer are both calling for CEO's to be held accountable for a change as huge fines seem to not stop these illegal practices.
NYTimes
“What we’re learning is that money doesn’t deter corporate malfeasance,” said Eliot Spitzer, who, as New York’s attorney general, sued GlaxoSmithKline in 2004 over similar accusations involving Paxil. “The only thing that will work in my view is C.E.O.’s and officials being forced to resign and individual culpability being enforced.”

"Despite the large amount, $3 billion represents only a portion of what Glaxo made on the drugs.

Avandia, for example, racked up $10.4 billion in sales, Paxil brought in $11.6 billion, and Wellbutrin sales were $5.9 billion during the years covered by the settlement, according to IMS Health, a data group that consults for drugmakers.

“So a $3 billion settlement for half a dozen drugs over 10 years can be rationalized as the cost of doing business,” Mr. Burns said.- nyt again, my bold

Abbott Laboratories settled -- $1.6 billion in May, 2012 --bad marketing of the antiseizure drug Depakote. Johnson & Johnson may be fined $2 billion over promotion of Risperdal, an anti-psychotic, off-label. Unlawful financial practices by  earned GSK a $3.4 Billion fine.

Now pharma is worse than the military in fines for bad, unlawful conduct:

Pharma overtakes arms industry to top the league of misbehaviour. Yet "analysts say it is a drop in the ocean compared with the profits from medicines." snip

But the GSK case has shaken even the most hardened of industry observers, as prosecutors found the company had been allotting over half a million dollars a year to its district sales representatives to offer doctors regular golf lessons, fishing trips, and basketball tickets while promoting the use of antidepressant drug Paxil in children.
Pharma overtakes arms industry to top the league of misbehaviour
my bold

GlaxoSmithKline, Britain's biggest pharmaceutical group, now known for:  

1.  trafficking their drugs for unapproved uses on US children,
2.  hiding vital evidence about effects of their diabetes drug from our FDA
3.  spending Big f^@^g $$ to entertain and bribe doctors to promote these drugs

GSK sales forces perpetrated fraud by helping to get an article published in a medical journal which "misreported evidence from a clinical trial." About using this medicine for children.

Well, now, Sir Andrew Witty, current GSK Chief Exec says, no we don't do that no more, no more! Why, Jean-Pierre's outta here!

...illegal activity over 10 years. This is the biggest-ever fine of its kind but there seem no plans at this stage to pursue executives or other individuals in positions of power at the time. Through some of the period covered by the fine, the firm was run by the highly paid Frenchman Jean-Pierre Garnier, whose entitlement to a £22m "golden parachute" payoff if he left the company enraged shareholders and caused a historic investor revolt.
- Guardian again
Meanwhile executives no longer at GSK have been re-shuffled. Not to jail. To the top positions in other pharma corps. Spreading their malfeasance tricks no doubt.

The Guardian also says that UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has too light of a touch with regulation, saying the "MHRA has never successfully prosecuted a company since it was established nearly 10 years ago."

For painkiller Vioxx, Merck took in $2.5 billion in 2003, one year alone. Then in 2011 they agreed to a fine of $950m which was not even the greatest fine for the month!

This topped the $2.3 billion settlement on Pfizer in 2009. The Pfizer fine came just after the 1.4 billion settlement on Eli Lilly earlier the same year. Compliments of foxbusiness

"Wall Street takes these settlements in stride, shrugging them off as “the cost of doing business.” To wit, a note to investors from Barclays Capital analyst Brian Bourdot earlier this month in the wake of the record-breaking Glaxo deal: “We regard such disputes as an innate risk for large multinational pharmaceutical companies,” the analyst wrote in a note published in the New York Times."
Type of criminal activity by pharm corps

Type criminal act        Pfizer   GSK  Baxter Merck  Roche  Johns & J

Guilty of fraud and/
  or Illegal sales activity     9     11      8       7         4         14

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