One of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, GlaxoSmithKline, the British drugmaker, has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges, and pay $3bn to settle one of the largest cases of healthcare fraud in US history.
The drug giant is to plead guilty to promoting two drugs for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a diabetes drug to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The settlement will cover criminal fines as well as civil settlements with the federal and state governments. The US Justice Department charged GlaxoSmithKline for promoting its antidepressant drugs Paxil and Wellbutrin as treatments for conditions for which they had not been approved by regulators, such as depression in adolescents, according to Agence France-Presse. The company also held back data and made unsubstantiated claims about its diabetes drug Avandia.
This comes a few weeks after Barclays Bank paid a $453mn fine for rigging interest rates. However, it has emerged Barclays had struck a deal of ‘extraordinary co-operation’ with regulators in Washington and London – potentially exposing collusion on interest rates among banks across the globe.
Barclays admitted its role in rigging the LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) and EURIBOR interbank crucial interest rates to mask the scale of their bad debts. And American authorities say Barclays is not alone, with a number of other banks also taking part in a full-scale, global fraud. The Barclays case is just the first in a series of potential cases against other financial firms, including HSBC, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase.
What is extraordinary in these cases was the argument that authorities made when banks were bankrupt and had to be bailed out with billions of dollars of taxpayers monies that these institutions were too big to fail.
The simple truth is these institutions are too big to be honest. Their monopoly position, the impact of capitalism’s deepest crisis has put them in such a powerful position that they can manipulate the market to make up potential losses at the expense of ordinary citizens.
Capitalism-in-crisis shows the depth of rottenness of the system.