This used to be something reserved for Defense Contractors – it was introduced during the American Civil War to prevent said contractors from swindling money out of the Union Army. Lately though, it hasn’t been Lougheed-Martin or Halliburton in the news for breaking the “False Claims Act”, it’s one of the worlds largest pharmaceutical companies – GlaxoSmithKline.
They were charged and convicted of misbranding two different antidepressant drugs and failing to tell government regulators about safety data related to a diabetes drug. Those three transgressions brought them a $1B fine, but they also agreed to pay another $2B in civil penalties under the aforementioned False Claims Act.
GlaxoSmithKline joins a long list of recently accused drug companies. Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Abbott Laboratories, Merck and Eli Lilly all settled with the American government for a total of $6.7 Billion in the last few years alone.
So Why Should You Care?
The point here is that every pharmaceutical company is driven to a profit. Incredible profits. And they will do anything and everything they can to assure those profits. Including lying and cheating.
Just when you need someone being up front and honest with you – this is your health at stake here – they chose not to be.
Read my next post (Friday, August 3) for a great example on why you need to understand this.