GSK to pay $105 million to settle suit over illegal marketing claims
- GSK has agreed to pay a $105 million settlement due to allegations of illegal promotion of Advair, Paxil and Wellbutrin.
- The settlement is the result of claims brought by the attorneys general in 44 states.
- The settlement includes not only a financial payment, but also a commitment to follow certain rules designed to prevent illegal practices in the future.
GSK's alleged violations occurred between 2001 and 2007. Though the company did not admit to the allegations of off-label promotion of Advair, Wellbutrin and Paxil, the corporate practices at the time included paying physicians to speak about their products at meetings and paying them to attend medical conferences. In addition, sales reps were routinely compensated based on the number of prescriptions their target physicians were writing, although that is a common practice.
As part of the judgment against GSK, the company has to adopt a plan through at least 2019, under which any questions that prescribing physicians ask have to be answered by company-based clinical specialists. This medical team will also be responsible for developing and approving answers to frequently asked questions.
The company has developed a set of new rules that it says it plans to implement, which GSK says is a radical departure from the previous approach to doing business. Physicians will no longer be paid to speak or to attend medical meetings, and sales reps will be compensated differently based on a new plan.