GlaxoSmithKline is about to set a new record: It's paying $3 billion in what government officials say is the largest health care fraud settlement in US history, the AP reports. The company will plead guilty to charges related to three drugs, the Justice Department says: Prosecutors say GSK promoted the use of Paxil for children even though it is only approved for adults; encouraged the use of Wellbutrin to treat things other than major depressive disorder (its only approved use); and did not report safety information about diabetes drug Avandia and its effect on cardiovascular health to the FDA.
The settlement includes $1 billion in criminal fines and $2 billion in civil settlements. In addition to the fines and the misdemeanor criminal charges, the company has agreed to have its sales force overseen by the US government, Reuters reports. (Read more Avandia stories.)