GlaxoSmithKline in $105m settlement

Updated 05 June 2014

GlaxoSmithKline in $105m settlement

SAN FRANCISCO: GlaxoSmithKline, Britain’s largest drug maker, will pay $105 million to settle claims from California, New York and more than 40 other states that it illegally promoted asthma and antidepressant drugs.
Glaxo will be prohibited under the accord from providing incentive payments to salespeople that encourage off-label drug uses, and from using paid doctors to promote its products.
The agreement, announced by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, covers the asthma drug Advair and two antidepressant drugs, Paxil and Wellbutrin. California’s portion of the settlement, the largest of any state, is $7.1 million, Harris said in a statement.
Announcement of the accord comes about a week after Glaxo said it faces a criminal probe in Britain after allegations in China that its employees bribed doctors, hospitals and medical associations to boost sales. Allegations also have surfaced of wrongdoing by company employees in Iraq, Poland, Jordan and Lebanon.
The Justice Department began looking in 2010 into whether Glaxo and other drugmakers violated a US law against bribing officials in foreign countries.
Legal documents describing the attorneys general settlement will be filed in state court in San Diego, according to Harris’s statement. London-based Glaxo violated Califor-nia consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the uses and qualities of certain drugs, according to Harris.
The settlement requires GlaxoSmithKline to “pay a significant penalty and imposes strong new rules designed to prevent future misrepresentations,” Harris said.
States participating in the settlement include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The District of Columbia is also part of the agreement.


Japan’s households tighten purse strings as sales tax and typhoon hit

Updated 06 December 2019

Japan’s households tighten purse strings as sales tax and typhoon hit

  • Falls in factory output, jobs and retail add to fears of worsening slowdown after Tokyo unveils $122bn stimulus package

TOKYO: Japanese households cut their spending for the first time in almost a year in October as a sales tax hike prompted consumers to rein in expenses and natural disasters disrupted business.

Household spending dropped 5.1 percent in October from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday.

It is the first fall in household spending in 11 months and the biggest fall since March 2016 when spending fell by 5.3 percent. It was also weaker than the median forecast for a 3 percent decline.

That marked a sharp reversal from the 9.5 percent jump in September, the fastest growth on record as consumers rushed to buy goods before the Oct. 1 sales tax hike from 8 percent to 10 percent.

“Not only is the sales tax hike hurting consumer spending but impacts from the typhoon also accelerated the decline in the spending,” said Taro Saito, executive research fellow at NLI Research Institute.

“We expect the economy overall and consumer spending will contract in the current quarter and then moderately pick up January-March, but such recovery won't be strong enough.”

Household spending fell by 4.6 percent in April 2014 when Japan last raised the sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent. It took more than a year for the sector to return to growth.

Compared with the previous month, household spending fell 11.5 percent in October, the fastest drop since April 2014, a faster decline than the median 9.8 percent forecast.

Analysts said a powerful typhoon in October, which lashed swathes of Japan with heavy rain, also played a factor in the downbeat data. Some shops and restaurants closed during the storm and consumers stayed home.

Separate data also showed the weak state of the economy.

The index of coincident economic indicators, which consists of a range of data including factory output, employment and retail sales data, fell a preliminary 5.6 points to 94.8 in October from the previous month, the lowest reading since February 2013, the Cabinet Office said on Friday.

It was also the fastest pace of decline since March 2011, according to the data.

Real wages adjusted for inflation, meanwhile, edged up for a second straight month in October, but the higher levy and weak global economy raise worries about the prospect for consumer spending and the overall economy.

While the government has sought to offset the hit to consumers through vouchers and tax breaks, there are fears the higher tax could hurt an economy already feeling the pinch from global pressures.

Japan unveiled a $122 billion fiscal package on Thursday to support stalling growth and as policymakers look to sustain activity beyond the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A recent spate of weak data, such as exports and factory output, have raised worries about the risk of a sharper-than-expected slowdown. The economy grew by an annualized 0.2 percent in the third quarter, the weakest pace in a year.

Analysts expect the economy to shrink in the current quarter due to the sales tax hike.