Business

GlaxoSmithKline in $105m (£63m) settlement with 44 US states

GSK building with logo and tree in front
Image caption GSK is one of the UK's largest companies

UK pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to a $105m (£63m) settlement with 44 US states and the District of Columbia over allegations it mis-promoted three drugs.

The drugs are asthma medication Advair and anti-depressants Paxil and Wellbutrin.

GSK did not admit any wrongdoing, and said the charges came from past issues.

"We don't feel like this is who we are today," GSK spokesperson Mary Anne Rhyne told the BBC.

"These are historic matters - they relate back to the federal government settlement in 2012 so some of these events are as long ago as 14 years," she added, noting that the company had already set aside money to cover the cost of the agreement.

Inquiry

As part of the settlement, GSK must extend its Patient First Program until 2019, which prohibits financial incentives to its sales people, and it is prohibited from paying doctors to speak about GSK's products or attend conferences.

"This settlement requires GSK to pay a significant penalty and imposes strong new rules designed to prevent future misrepresentations of GSK products," said California attorney general Kamala Harris in a statement.

GSK insists that many of these practices are already in place.

The firm, which is one of the UK's largest companies, is also facing a criminal inquiry from the UK's Serious Fraud Office.

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