GlaxoSmithKline fined $3bn after bribing doctors to increase drugs sales

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Sales reps in the US encouraged to mis-sell antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin and asthma treatment Advair.

The pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline has been fined $3bn (£1.9bn) after admitting bribing doctors and encouraging the prescription of unsuitable antidepressants to children. Glaxo is also expected to admit failing to report safety problems with the diabetes drug Avandia in a district court in Boston on Thursday.

The company encouraged sales reps in the US to mis-sell three drugs to doctors and lavished hospitality and kickbacks on those who agreed to write extra prescriptions, including trips to resorts in Bermuda, Jamaica and California.

The company admitted corporate misconduct over the antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin and asthma drug Advair.

Psychiatrists and their partners were flown to five-star hotels, on all-expenses-paid trips where speakers, paid up to $2,500 to attend, gave presentations on the drugs. They could enjoy diving, golf, fishing and other extra activities arranged by the company.

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