GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to settle disputes with the US Government over the way it marketed and developed its drugs for $3bn.

The final settlement, which is expected to address civil and criminal liabilities, remains subject to negotiation of specific terms and is expected to be finalised in 2012.

Investigations into GlaxoSmithKline’s sales practices began in 2004 when the US Attorney’s office of Colorado in 2004 inquired about alleged off-label marketing.

Later, the Department of Justice investigated the development and marketing of diabetes drug Avandia, which has been linked to heart disease.

GlaxoSmithKline said in a statement that, since 2008, it has established a new framework for compliance in the US, based on the company’s values, policies and established industry codes of practices.

Commenting on the agreement, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty said, "This is a significant step toward resolving difficult, long-standing matters which do not reflect the company that we are today. In recent years, we have fundamentally changed our procedures for compliance, marketing and selling in the US to ensure that we operate with high standards of integrity and that we conduct our business openly and transparently."