Nightly News | July 02, 2012
>>> there is news tonight about the company that makes some very big name prescription drugs . glaxo smith kline has agreed today to pay a multi billion dollar fine, the largest ever in a health care fraud case. here's nbc's justice correspondent pete williams .
>> ladies and gentlemen , please welcome --
>> reporter: at the launch of asthma drug advair prosecutors say global drug giant glaxo smith kline pushed the sales force to push hard even for uses not federally approved.
>> who wants to be a millionaire?
>> reporter: today the company admitted its sales force bribed doctors to prescribe its drugs by offering such incentives as hawaiian vacations and tickets to madonna concerts. all part, the government says, of a range of misbehavior that resulted today in the largest fine ever paid by a drug company , $3 billion.
>> this historic action is a clear warning to any company that chooses to break the law.
>> reporter: here is some of what the company admitted doing -- promoting the use of its antidepressant paxil for children even though studies failed to show it worked for them, failing to warn that the diabetes drug could cause heart attacks and claiming unapproved uses for another antidepressant wellbutrin by saying it could help patients lose weight and overcome sexual problems.
>> hired a public relations firm to create a buzz about getting skinny and how you could have more sex simply by using this drug.
>> reporter: today the ceo said the behavior happened in a different era for the company and that it is fundamentally changed in its procedures for compliance, marketing, and selling. and the company has agreed to a new integrity policy. no more rewarding the sales force on the number of drugs sold and executives could lose their bonuses if the people working for them break the rules. pete williams , nbc news, at the justice department .