How can I resist mentioning that GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay a $750 million fine to settle their civil and criminal cases resulting from a whistle-blower who exposed their quality problems in Puerto Rico.
The cases involved 20 drugs with questionable safety or effectiveness. The list includes the drug Paxil, an ineffective antidepressant, Bactroban, an ointment and Avandia, a diabetes drug with a troubled history. The United States Justice Department said the $150 million payment to settle criminal charges was the largest ever paid by a drug manufacturer in this situation.
The only good news in the deal? The whistle-blower, a quality manager fired by Glaxo for raising the quality issues, will receive $96 million.
The bad news? Following Pfizer's four whistle-blower lawsuits since 2002 and record $2.4 billion fine last year, these cases don't even raise an eyebrow on Wall Street any more.