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Learning English - Words in the News
Drugs company settles lawsuit
woman in laboratory

Following a lawsuit by American authorities the big British drug company GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay a 2.5 million dollar penalty. It has also agreed to change its ways by publishing all tests results, even if they are negative. This report from Stephen Evans:

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Glaxo was accused of not publicising the results of tests on one of its anti-depressants - results which seemed to indicate that the drug might increase the suicidal tendencies in some depressed children who took it. The Attorney-General of New York sued Glaxo and the company has now agreed to publish all test results so doctors have full information before prescribing. It denies doing anything wrong but has also agreed to pay the financial penalty.

The pharmaceuticals industry in general has been accused of only wanting to give full publicity to drug-test results that help sales. The New York Attorney-General's office said Glaxo would now become the industry's standard. The company's difficulty, though, will come if its openness costs it money while its competitors thrive by maintaining secrecy.

Stephen Evans, BBC

Listen to the words

publicising the results
making all the results widely known and available to the public

medicines or drugs that help people suffering from the mental condition of depression to feel happier and more enthusiastic about things and life


suicidal tendencies
if someone has suicidal tendencies, they might try to kill themselves

taken to court to make them pay money for the harm their actions are said to have caused

giving an official written order for patients to collect specific medicine or drugs from a chemist or pharmacy

The pharmaceuticals industry
companies which make drugs and other medicines for sale

the industry's standard
an example of the level of quality, service and behaviour that all pharmaceutical companies must now reach

total honesty, a lack of secrecy

grow, earn good profits and become increasingly successful

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