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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19156

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Journal Article

Tanne JH
US drug companies paid $15bn in fines for fraudulent marketing in past five years
BMJ 2010 Dec 21; 341:


Illegal marketing activities by drug companies have risen over the past five years, leading to major penalties when companies forced to settle with the federal and state governments, says Public Citizen, an independent US watchdog organisation. It has called the drug industry “the biggest defrauder of the federal government.”

Although reports of drug companies’ misdeeds have been reported before, Public Citizen’s new report summarises the situation.

Industry spokespeople said that the problems were behind them and that the industry had put stricter guidelines in place.

Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s health research group, told the BMJ that in the past five years the drug industry moved ahead of the defence industry and all other industry sectors in the amount of civil penalties for fraud under the False Claims Act against the federal government. The report said that of 165 drug company settlements comprising $19.8bn (£12.8bn; €15bn) in penalties over the past 20 years, 73% …


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