3 Diamonds and a Dog #8

Jul 13, 2012 by

In each post of the Money Counselor “Diamonds & Dogs” series, I pick three items—could be an article, a website, a video, an image—that in my humble opinion would be especially valuable—the Diamonds—in helping Money Counselor readers make better money choices. And to balance the three Diamonds, I pick just one lame item—the Dog.

money idea gems3 Diamonds

lame money adviceA Dog

This edition’s Dog is GlaxoSmithKline. Did you hear about his one? The pharmaceutical giant will plead guilty and pay a $3 billion (yes, that’s with a “b”) fine to the U.S. Government in a fraud settlement. Highlights of GSK’s malfeasance:

  • GSK promoted the prescription of the antidepressant Paxil for kids though the drug isn’t approved for people under age 18.
  • GSK marketed the antidepressant and smoking cessation drug Wellbutrin for unapproved uses. These actions occurred despite FDA warnings about possible safety risks, such as an increased risk of suicide, for children under 18 taking antidepressants.
  • In a specific instance of off-label marketing, the U.S. Department of Justice claims GSK paid sexpert Dr. Drew Pinsky $275,000 to attribute in a national radio show increased libido and multiple female orgasms to Wellbutrin’s effects. (Dr. Drew failed to disclose his monetary incentive when discussing Wellbutrin.)
  • GSK admitted that it failed to provide to the FDA information indicating its diabetes drug Avandia could cause heart problems. In Europe, Avandia had been pulled from shelves.

GSK’s $3 billion fine will be the largest ever paid by a drug company. In a post-settlement announcement press release, GSK CEO Andrew Witty said this:

“Today brings to resolution difficult, long-standing matters for GSK. Whilst these originate in a different era for the company, they cannot and will not be ignored. On behalf of GSK, I want to express our regret and reiterate that we have learnt from the mistakes that were made.” – GSK CEO Andrew Witty

Nominations Please

Do you have a nomination for a Diamond or Dog? Send it to me please using the Free Advice link at the top of the page. I’ll give you credit if I use it in a “3 Diamonds and a Dog” post.

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