The Broken American Health Care System - CPT Reprint
There are no short cuts to the truth, and especially when it comes to the cutthroat world of big pharma and big bucks. In this article we take a story that appeared in The Hals Report by Erik Hals. It is another example of the extent big pharma is willing to go to secure business in the ruthless legal drug addiction market in
The Hals Report
Recently, two of the worlds largest pharmaceutical companies were fined billions of dollars after investigations into their secret working practices brought several fraudulent activities to light. Now, new revelations have emerged including pervasive fraud, corruption and huge kickbacks which were paid to doctors.
So, what do doctors receive kickbacks for and how do they work? We will begin with a man named David. A decade ago David was prescribed Risperdal for a psychiatric illness, a drug made by Johnson and Johnson.
The pharmaceutical companies didn’t trick the government though.
Surprisingly, most of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the
Sharon Ornsby, a member of the FBI financial crimes unit, in an interview on Al Jazeera television said, “pharmaceutical fraud is one of our top three threats.”
In September of 2009 Pfizer settled civil and criminal charges in the amount of 2.3 billion dollars with the federal government for illegally marketing four types of drugs. (4) The Pfizer corporation made over 180 billion dollars selling twelve twelve kinds of drugs and only paid 2.3 billion dollars in fines, talk about a phenomenal business plan!
Details of Pfizer’s behavior came to light when several insiders decided to become whistleblowers. Glen Demott was a top Pfizer representative selling the drug Bextra while earning 100,000 dollars per year. He claims he was trained to lie to physicians, “they were training us to say things to physicians that weren’t accurate. Bextra was not approved to be used for acute pain and we were out there trying to get standing orders for acute pain.” Eventually, Demott was forced out of his position with Pfizer. (5)
Demott is one of a growing number of whistleblowers exposing medical corruption across
Lewis Morris is chief lawyer for the
Drug companies now publish physician payment figures online and in 2009 just a few companies paid doctors in the United States over 200 million dollars. (6) These giant sums of money pouring into the medical field will inevitably lead to corruption on every level of the pharmaceutical industry. (if it hasn’t already?)
We already know Risperdal can cause diabetes and Parkinson’s as we saw in Davids case, but now there is evidence the drug can cause serious complications in adolescent boys as well. (Gynecomastia: breast development.) (7) As we speak, federal investigators are still looking into claims concerning Johnson and Johnson. They believe the company illegally marketed Risperdal for use in children, including those with ADHD. But with so many drug scandals flooding the news, the countries regulators have begun to run low on resources.
Avandia used to be the worlds best selling diabetes drug for years. It earned its maker Glaxo Smith Kline billions of dollars, but now it is linked to over 100,000 heart attacks in the
In July the
1. Reuters: prescription drug sales 300b$
2. Health Freedom Alliance
3. J&J Told to Pay $257.7 Million Over Risperdal Marketing Tactics
4. Pfizer pays a record $2.3 billion to settle criminal charges
5. Whistleblower Glen DeMott on False Claims Act Settlement Reached
6. PFIZER INC Officers & Directors
8. Avandia Maker Hid Risks for Years, Probe Finds
© The Hals Report 2012. All rights reserved.