GSK Settles Paxil, Wellbutrin Illegal Marketing Cases With 44 States for $105M


Chicago’s Attorney General announced yesterday that GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay $105 million to settle allegations of illegal marketing of Paxil, Wellbutrin and Advair (an asthma drug).  The case, brought by 44 states and the District of Columbia, alleged that GSK had marketed Paxil and Wellbutrin as safe for children and teens, a use the FDA had not approved, and despite clinical trials raising concerns that Paxil was associated with an increased risk of suicide.  Wellbutrin was also marketed “off label” for weight loss, ADHD, addiction, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

$105 Million Settlement With GlaxoSmithKline (Illinois Attorney General)
GlaxoSmithKline to Pay $105 Million in Multistate Settlement (Wall Street Journal)
GlaxoSmithKline Agrees to $105 Million Settlement (ABC News)
GSK To Pay $105 Million To Settle Advair, Paxil, Wellbutrin Disputes (Consumerist)
Glaxo to Pay $105 Million to Settle Promotion Claims (Bloomberg)
GlaxoSmithKline in $105 million settlement with US states over marketing (Reuters)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. When do we, the those who’ve actually been harmed by these drugs, receive proper apologies and compensation? I had Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms misdiagnosed as bipolar, resulting in a “Foul up” with Risperdal, then a bunch of major drug interaction poisoning to cover up the misdiagnosis and adverse reaction to the psychiatric industry’s new “wonder drug” – so it could then be approved for use in little children! I want my millions for the hell I was put through, and the children harmed deserve theirs, too. All those involved in this fraud, defamation, and torture of American people deserve to be defamed and tortured for the rest of their lives. What a bunch of greedy, unscrupulous sickos.

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  2. Here in Australia, the only use Wellbutrin (bupropion) is approved for under our benefit scheme is addiction (ie Zyban for smoking cessation and you have to go through a pretty big rigmarole to get it)…no wonder big pharma has difficulties, they simply can’t remember which countries they’ve sold which lies.
    When I told a doc here that it was used as an antidepressant overseas, I was told quite firmly I was wrong because it most certainly was not an antidepressant, it was used purely for treating smoking addiction.
    …….but yes, that really is a stupidly small fine for the crimes committed, and as usual, it’s all about deceptive marketing and nothing about the true issue – lack of scientific efficacy of the drugs and incalculable devastation they cause individuals and society as a whole.

    It’s when the companies start having to pay massive compensation or fines in the billions for concealing data on the negative effects of their products, that perhaps the broader community will catch on and stop falling for the bald lies of what seems to amount to government approved and medically- sanctioned organised crime.

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