Pharmaceutical companies are obliged to provide safe and effective drugs and to make the risks and side effects transparent.
Prescription drugs can relieve a variety of illnesses, from mild pain and vitamin deficiencies to life-threatening conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. When they work they are invaluable in making life easier for the people who depend on them. If not working, they can cause a lifetime of pain and suffering. Some of the largest drug dispute resolutions have sent a clear message to pharmaceutical companies that there is little room for error when it comes to consumer health and safety.
# 5 Eli Lilly $ 1.42 billion
Eli Lilly ranks fifth for receiving fines of $ 515 million and civil sentences of $ 800 million for promoting the popular antipsychotic drug Zyprexa for uses outside of FDA approval. The suit said the manufacturer of the drug used to treat schizophrenia was promoting it to doctors for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Eli Lilly marketed the drug to general practitioners who then prescribed it to people of all ages for a variety of diseases, from anxiety to depression to hyperactivity. Eventually, the company was hit by a class action lawsuit, resulting in one of the biggest judgments of any other pharmaceutical company.
# 4 Abbot $ 1.5 billion
Depakote was an extremely popular drug that was originally approved for treating seizures, migraines, and bipolar mania. Abbot found that its marketing for the treatment of schizophrenia and dementia was profitable. Nursing home administrators across the country bought the drug and generously administered it to their disoriented dementia sufferers to keep them calm and serene. For over eight years, the company marketed Depakote to nursing homes, despite clinical studies suggesting that it was dangerous when used with these populations.
# 3 Johnson & Johnson $ 2.2 billion
The popular cosmetics maker had to pay criminal penalties of $ 485 million and civil fees of $ 1.72 billion. The FDA approved the drug Risperdal for treating schizophrenia. Johnson & Johnson sales reps were found to be marketing the drug for the reassurance of elderly dementia sufferers and encouraging doctors to prescribe it for children or people with intellectual disabilities. The lawsuit also involved the company’s misleading marketing of Invega and Natrecor drugs. This was one of the largest dispute settlements in the 2000s and one of the largest in history.
# 2 Pfizer $ 2.3 billion
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Drug company Pfizer was fined $ 1.3 billion and a $ 1 million fine for mistakenly promoting three drugs – Bextra, Lyrica, and Zyvox – used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy, respectively Infection were used. The company paid doctors setbacks for prescribing these drugs and was charged with misrepresenting Medicaid for non-medically approved uses. At least one of the drugs, Bextra, was withdrawn from the market following the judgment.
# 1 GlaxoSmithKline $ 3 billion
GlaxoSmithKline has the dubious honor of paying the largest legal penalties of any other drug company for multiple violations of FDA regulations. The company that made Paxil, Wellbutrin, and Avandia promoted these drugs for off-label use. They also paid doctors setbacks for prescribing Flovent, Valtrex, and Imitrex to treat asthma, genital herpes, and migraine headaches. They were also accused of making false claims about the safety of Avandia, one of the company’s most popular drugs.
Pharmaceutical companies are obliged to provide safe and effective drugs and to make the risks and side effects transparent. They are also expected not to pay doctors to recommend their drugs to patients. When these duties are violated, innocent people can be hurt.
If you’ve been injured from a faulty medicine and are looking for a pharmaceutical investigation attorney, call us today for a free consultation. We can help.