Pharma fraud

Another day, another billion dollar pharma company fraud settlement with felony guilty pleas. In my NEJM Perspective (now online), I argue that the industry is treating these fines like a cost of doing business, without sufficient deterrent value. Options include:

  • Criminal prosecution of individuals in addition to the companies;
  • Enhanced whistleblower protections;
  • Recouping a larger percentage of the ill-gotten gains; and
  • Regulating the industry on a level playing field instead of layers of “corporate integrity agreements”

The latest settlement with GSK (J&J should announce soon) promises to recoup fraud-related bonuses from future executives and to stop paying drug reps based on off-label sales effectiveness.  GSK also pled guilty to hiding important safety data on Avandia.


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