March 17, 2014
GlaxoSmithKline PLC is globally known pharmaceutical company that pled guilty to criminal charges of illegally marketing drugs and withholding important safety data from U.S. regulators. They had settled with the U.S. government for $3 billion. The U.S. Justice Department called this the largest health care fraud settlement in history. The company was promoting the antidepressants, Paxil and Wellbutrin in the U.S., which was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This practice is known as off label marketing. They were also found guilty for withholding important safety data about the drug, Avandia from the U.S. regulator. GlaxoSmithKline was guilty of many unethical research behaviors. They were guilty of changing data or creating false data to meet a desired objective; omitting sections of data analysis and conclusions; making recommendations beyond the scope of the data collected. The sales representatives that worked for Glaxo, worked according to the number of prescriptions they persuaded doctors to write. This pushed sales representatives harder to increase sales for a profitable commission. Doctors in turn were falsifying unapproved medical data to help promote Glaxo. The Justice Department also said that between 2001 and 2007, Glaxo had failed to report particular safety data to the Food and Drug Administration about their diabetes treatment drug Avandia. The data that was missing contained information about two studies that examined the cardiovascular safety. After court, Glaxo started labeling their Avandia treatment box with black box warnings about heart risk. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration placed strict restrictions on its use, but European regulators had withdrawn it from their market. There were multiple parties that were injured in this particular case. More were abused by emotionally than physically. Since Glaxo failed to post their safety data on Avandia, they put people at risk unknowingly of cardiovascular problems. Even doctors reputations were injured because they accepted Glaxo’s bribes to give their patients certain medications. These doctors were accepting bribes that included incentives such as free spa treatments, Colorado ski trips, pheasant hunting, jaunts to Europe, and even Madonna concert tickets, Justice Department officials said.
The ethical behavior has greatly affected the organization and society as a whole. Some ways were good for the company and some were bad. The organization has gained a bad image for society to see. According to New York Times market chart for Glaxo it seems to be back on the rise again from 2008. Glaxo is still a global competitor for pharmaceutical needs. They are working on developing treatments for AIDS and malaria. They are also currently battling allegations of bribery in China after the illegal allegations in the U.S. Glaxo seems to be regaining the Food and Drug Administration because they are lifting some of the restrictions that were placed as a result from court. The Food and Drug Administration lifted restrictions on the prescribing and use of the Type 2 diabetes treatment drug Avandia. Some society members have gone