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Angel L. Reyes, III
Angel L. Reyes, III
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GSK To Pay $750M In Drug Quality Case

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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to pay $750 million to settle allegations that it knowingly manufactured and sold several tainted drugs.

Pharmco Puerto Rico, a unit of GSK, admitted it was guilty of charges relating to the manufacture and distribution of certain drugs produced between 2001 and 2005, made at the now-closed facility. The drugs, which include Kytril, Bactroban, Paxil CR and Avandamet are used to treat infection, nausea, depression and Type II diabetes.

GSK agreed to pay $150 million in criminal fines and $600 million in civil penalties to settle a federal government investigation. A former GSK quality manager, who first exposed the contamination in 2004, will receive $96 million.

Some of the drugs were contaminated with bacteria or had cracked coating rendering them ineffective. Some failed to meet federal standards because they were too strong or two week. And others were mixed with different medicines but sold in the same bottle.

"The industry has an obligation to ensure that all rules, regulations and laws are complied with," said U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz. "To do less erodes public confidence and compromises patient safety."