Global healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) today said that it had agreed to pay $3 billion to settle US criminal and civil investigations of the company's sales and marketing practices.
The settlement comes after Britain's largest pharmaceutical firm had recorded a legal charge of £2.2 billion ($3.4 billion) to settle additional lawsuits and cost of federal investigation into whether it promoted drugs for unapproved uses, the development and marketing of its diabetes medicine Avandia and potentially influenced doctors.
The probe concerns nine of the company's best-selling products from 1997 to 2004.
The London-based pharma giant said the tentative settlement covers both civil and criminal liabilities.
Shortly after launching Avandia in the market in 1999, SmithKline Beecham's research labs began a study to find out whether the drug was safer for the heart than a competing pill, Actos, made by Japanese drug maker Takeda.
The findings showed that Avandia posed significant heart risks, but within a year of its internal research finding, US drug giant SmithKline Beecham merged with British drug giants Glaxo Wellcome in 2000 to form GlaxoSmithKline.