$150 Million Fine for Defective Drug Maker

By Peter DePaolis

A drug manufacturer knowingly put defective prescription drugs into the marketplace and they are now paying the price. The Justice Department fined SB Pharmco Puerto Rico, Inc., $150 million stemming from charges of manufacturing defective drugs. In addition, the drug maker will pay about $600 million in civil settlements in various state courts. SB Pharmco (Pharmco) is a subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline.

Pharmco manufactured the prescription drug Paxil CR, and it reportedly used manufacturing methods that failed to meet safety standards. The result was a drug with a critical defect that could have injured users. Paxil CR is an anti-depressant that depends on a controlled release in the pill. Pharmco also improperly manufactured Kytril (anti-nausea medication), Bactrobank (anti-infection ointment), and Avandamet (diabetes drug).

The fine is part of the Justice Department’s effort to catch companies that violate the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). To date, the Justice Department has recovered over $5.4 billion in fines and penalties since 2009.

Did you take Paxil CR or any of the other drugs manufactured by Pharmco? If so, get in touch with our office today.

Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP

Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia Injury Attorneys

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.