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Corporations may be people, but if companies put profits before people, does that mean that some people's profits are more equal than others? It's a puzzler. Fortunately we don't have to settle the question today.

No, today we can sit back and continue to enjoy schadenfreude. First the banksters took one on the chin in California, and now a member of Big Pharma has admitted to "putting profits before people" and, oh yeah, settling the US Government's lawsuit against it him for $3,000,000,000.

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline will pay $3 billion in fines -- the largest heathcare fraud settlement in U.S. history -- for criminal and civil violations involving 10 drugs that are taken by millions of people...

This is the latest in a string of settlements related to drug companies putting profits ahead of patients.

You might think that if this continues Republican concerns about the national debt might become passe'.  Alas! Three billion dollars is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you're a drug company; on the other hand it is a pittance to the US Government, regardless of what Senator Everett Dirksen might have never said (especially in inflation-adjusted dollars). So we can assume Republicans will keep on squawking.

And just what did Glaxo do to earn this historic fine? Among other things

Prosecutors said Glaxo illegally promoted Paxil for treating depression in children from 1998 to 2003, even though it wasn’t approved for anyone under age 18. The company also promoted Wellbutrin from 1999 through 2003 for weight loss, sexual dysfunction, substance addictions and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, although it was only approved for treatment of major depression.
And you wonder why the United States spends 50% more of its GDP than any other country on the planet for health care.

Now you know.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:37 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street, Progressive Policy Zone, Single Payer: The Fight for Medicare for All, Healthcare Reform - We've Only Just Begun, and Single Payer California.


$3,000,000,000 ?

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