In November 2010, we reported the indictment of Lauren Stevens, former in-house lawyer at Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK). The FDA claimed doctors were marketing a drug for off-brand uses, i.e., uses other than those approved by the FDA. GSK was asked to provide documentation, and, according to the FDA, certain materials supposedly incriminating to GSK’s case were purportedly withheld by Ms. Stevens, laying the basis for the indictment. Specifically, she was charged with six (6) counts that claimed obstruction of justice, falsification and concealment of documents, and false statements.
Now, some six (6) months later, that indictment has been dismissed by the judge on a showing that Ms. Stevens relied on the advice of counsel, other in-house GSK lawyers, as well as outside counsel. The dismissal was done without prejudice, meaning the Department of Justice may seek another indictment after losing because it failed to properly present the advice of counsel defense to the grand jury that originally indicted Ms. Stevens.