A U.S. District judge in Maryland acquitted a former GlaxoSmithKline lawyer accused of obstructing an investigation into the drug company's marketing practices for its antidepressant Wellbutrin.
Former Glaxo lawyer acquitted
The decision was announced by Judge Roger Titus on May 10 in Greenbelt, Md.
Lauren Stevens, former vice president and associate general counsel for GlaxoSmithKline, was indicted for the second time in April on charges that she obstructed an official proceeding, concealed and falsified documents and made false statements.
“I believe that it would be a miscarriage of justice to permit this case to go to the jury,” Titus wrote. “There is an enormous potential for abuse in allowing prosecution of an attorney for the giving of legal advice. I conclude that the defendant in this case should never have been prosecuted and she should be permitted to resume her career.”
U.S. regulators had alleged that the company illegally promoted Wellbutrin for weight loss, for which it is not approved.
“We’re pleased with the acquittal,” a GlaxoSmithKline spokesperson said.
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