In 2012, the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline was forced to pay $3 billion in civil and criminal penalties for promoting its antidepressant drugs for off-label use. The penalties included $1 billion for hiding evidence that one of its drugs, Paxil, may cause birth defects.
According to the Bloomberg article which covered the affair in detail, Glaxo is prohibited from providing incentive payments to salespeople that encourage uses not indicated on the drug labels. Glaxo also agreed to not provide any marketing materials that offer inaccurate information about its products. The agreement covers the depression drugs Paxil and Wellbutrin, as well as the asthma drug Advair.
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