Investigation of Glaxo's Paxil widens: paper

A GlaxoSmithKline logo is seen outside one of its buildings in west London, February 6, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. Department of Justice investigation into whether GlaxoSmithKline PLC withheld data about the suicide risks of the antidepressant drug Paxil is widening, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

In its online editions, the newspaper said Glaxo confirmed that a previously disclosed Colorado-based investigation of its marketing practices also includes the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston and is being coordinated by the agency in Washington.

Federal investigators in Boston last year asked lawyers for families that are suing Glaxo for information, documents and depositions concerning Paxil’s potential link to suicidal behavior, and how the company portrayed that risk to doctors and the Food and Drug Administration.

Glaxo told the newspaper the company has responded to questions from the government and cooperated fully with the department.

Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley asked regulators to investigate whether Glaxo withheld data about the risk of suicide when it applied for U.S. approval to market the drug.

Reporting by Matt Daily; Editing by David Cowell