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A recent Washington Post article says that so far it’s been a record year for obtaining settlements from drug companies due to fraudulent marketing practices. State and federal attorneys this year have collected (through mid-July) a total of $6.6 billion in settlements against drug companies.

Because governments have been spending more on prescription drug programs as baby boomers begin to increase the Medicare and Medicaid populations, there has been increased scrutiny by investigators on the state level looking to recover taxpayer money.

Dr. Sammy Almashat, a researcher with the organization, Public Citizen, that tracks fraud, abuse and waste in government, was quoted as saying "It should come as no surprise that the states… are finally deciding to root out fraud that has cost their taxpayers billions over the years." The largest portion, $3 billion in the fines, has been paid by GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, and Abbott Laboratories. Eli Lilly & Co., and Pfizer have also paid penalties over $1 billion in recent years.

"Oh, what a web we weave when first we practice to deceive…" and in this case, the web was very, very expensive. Greed and hubris abound.

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