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GSK Arm SB Pharmaco Seals Settlement with 37 States

Losing a costly legal battle with the US federal government, SB Pharmaco Inc. and its parent holding firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) paid $750 million in penalties for failing to comply with drug production standards, court records show. A whistleblower supported the civil suit against the companies regarding the manufacture and sale of bad batches of various drugs. The drugs involved in the controversy are Kytril, Avandamet, Bactroban and Paxil CR. Paxil is a paroxetine hydrochloride drug which, like the ordinary Paxil drug, serves as cure for major depressive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It is also possessed of the same Paxil side effects such as birth defects, extreme behavioral shifts and suicidal behavior. This formulation is meant to block the reuptake of serotonin, which is a brain neurotransmitter for happy emotions. Paroxetine belongs to the family of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. SB Pharmaco did not comply to the standards set by authorities in the manufacture of drugs according to media reports.The Puerto Rico-based company was held in breach of ethical standards when it violated the purity of the manufacturing process needlessly exposing the public to the chemical dangers of the drugs. Sources disclose that distribution of these adulterated and unclean drugs happened between the years of 2001 to 2005. From the $750 million payment made by the company, $150 million were allocated as payment of fines and the remaining $600 million was spent for the claims made by the federal government. In 2011, as a lingering consequence of the 2010 incident, SB Pharmaco and GSK signed a pact with 37 states through a $40.8 million settlement. They declared their intent to cleanse their name and to not violate manufacturing standards again.They resorted to this measure to prevent further litigation and further expenses along with it. The bad report it caused, however, created a permanent injury for GSK as reflected in its balance sheet. The power of a Paxil lawsuit against GSK and its corporate muscle was shown in the punitive penalties suffered by it amounting to millions. However, in the case of individuals who were exposed to its side effects, there is no value for the damage it had caused except for the figures written in the compensatory claims. Albeit commendable for GSK to pursue settlement, it does not distract us from the reality that there are real victims who have been injured by their product.