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.
16.04.2015 The Swiss biotech industry can look back on 2014 as a good year, but political uncertainties do remain. This was one of the topics discussed during the Swiss Biotech Day in Basel, which attracted more than 400 participants.
14.04.2015 Belgian Thrombogenics NV has launched a new oncology company with Gent-based life sciences institute VIB. The new venture will develop an antibody for the treatment of a fast-growing brain tumour that affects children and adolescents.
31.03.2015 In its aim to expand its drug portfolio in orphan disease products, Horizon Pharma has acquired US company Hyperion Therapeutics for US$1.1bn in cash. The takeover entitles the UK biopharma to all of Hyperion’s common stock.
31.03.2015 Merck Serono has forged a US$941m (€876m) deal with US Intrexon for the development and commercialisation of CAR-T therapies. The new CAR-T projects are set to strengthen their R&D technology portfolio in immuno-oncology.