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GSK to pay legal charge relating to Avandia

LONDON — Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will take a legal charge of $3.4 billion related to its promotion of a controversial diabetes drug.

The British company said the charge related to an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado regarding sales and promotion of the drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) in spite of reports of the risk of heart attacks in patients taking it.

“We recognize that this is a significant charge, but we believe the approach we are taking to resolve long-standing legal matters is in the company’s best interests,” GSK SVP global litigation P.D. Villarreal said. “We have closed out a number of major cases over the last year, and we remain determined to do all we can to reduce our litigation risk.”

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