04.07.2012 - GSK has been fined a record $3bn for drug fraud. The UK-based company admitted it had made inappropriate hospitality offerings to bribe physicians.
The pharma giant invited health care practitioners to enjoy deep-sea fishing, hot air balloon rides and golfing days in Hawaii. The company hoped the practice would mean doctors would prescribe more of their drugs. The case, described as "unprecedented in both size and scope" by deputy US attorney general James Cole, included allegations that GSK promoted two drugs for unapproved uses and failed to report safety data about a diabetes drug to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Problems were first flagged up in 2001, when a whistle blower sparked internal investigations within the company. An official investigation begun by the US Attorney's office of Colorado in 2004 and was later taken over by the US Attorney's Office of Massachusetts. With its admission of guilt, GSK agreed to pay $1bn in criminal fines and forfeits and additional $2bn to settle civil claims. "Whilst these originate in a different era for the company, they cannot and will not be ignored", stated Andrew Witty, Glaxosmithkline chief executive, adding that the company has fundamentally changed its procedures for compliance, marketing and selling to avoid further misbehaviour.
12.02.2016 The promise of the microbiome as the basis of new treatments has caught the attention of many. Now, UK biotherapeutics maker 4D pharma plc has padded its microbiome pipeline with the acquisition of Irish Tucana Health.
05.02.2016 It is not yet clear why a man died during a first-in-man clinical trial in January. A preliminary report found several “major shortcomings” by responsible CRO Biotrial. However, all regulations were complied with.
04.02.2016 After having dodged multiple takeover attempts by Monsanto last year, agrobusiness giant Syngenta has now agreed to be acquired by chemical corporation ChemChina. The Swiss company also announced plans to go public within a few years.
01.02.2016 Altering human DNA with the efficient gene editing method CRISPR/Cas9, especially germline modifications, was long considered a taboo. Now, however, UK scientists have received official approval to tinker with embryo DNA.
27.01.2016 Three UK universities have teamed up with three pharma companies to create the Apollo Therapeutics Fund. With the tech transfer fund, the consortium aims to develop scientific research into medicines.
25.01.2016 Affimed means to put a promising drug combination to the test. With support from MSD, the German biopharma will carry out clinical trials for an immunotherapy combining treatments of both companies.
21.01.2016 Stop squandering antibiotics and make research profitable again: at the World Economic Forum in Swiss Davos, 83 pharmaceutical companies have called for a unified approach towards the threat of antimicrobial resistance.