More Big Pharma Companies Cough Up Big Dollars in DOJ Settlements

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The parade of major drug companies coughing up nine-digit or ten-digit dollar amounts in settlements with the U.S. government is continuing.

GlaxoSmithKline recently broke a record by agreeing to pay the federal government $3 billion to settle an illegal pharmaceutical marketing case. This surpasses the previous record of $2.3 billion paid by Pfizer in 2009 over the marketing of its Bextra painkiller and other drugs. The same year, Eli Lilly & Co. paid $1.4 billion in a settlement concerning sales of its Zyprexa anti-psychotic medicine. In late November, Merck & Co. agreed to pay $950 million and plead guilty to a criminal misdemeanor charge to resolve allegations that it illegally promoted its former painkiller Vioxx and deceived the government about the drug’s safety.

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