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LONDON British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will pay nearly $1 billion to the U.S. government to settle allegations that it sold contaminated and ineffective products.
The company will plead guilty to criminal charges relating to drugs made at a manufacturing plant in Cidra, Puerto Rico, which it closed in 2009, and pay $750 million. In a whistleblower suit filed by a former employee, it was alleged that the company knowingly sold defective supplies of various drugs, including the baby ointment Bactroban (mupirocin) and the antidepressant Paxil (paroxetine).
“This settlement resolves a significant and long-standing legal issue facing the company,” GSK SVP and head of global litigation P.D. Villarreal said. “We regret that we operated the Cidra facility in a manner that was inconsistent with current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements and with GSK’s commitment to manufacturing quality.”