Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Settlement Produces Money But No Apologies in Florida

Boehringer Ingelheim Corp., generic-drug manufacturer, is paying $8.5 million to settle fraud claims, yet the company still admits to no wrong-doing.

The claims are that the company inflated the price of generic drugs but charged the pharmacies less. In turn the pharmacies had a larger profit margin from Medicaid reimbursements. The larger gap between reported cost and actual cost brought more business from pharmacies.

It is calculated and blatantly wrong. Still the company just settles and thinks it has saved face. It seems to be a reoccurring theme between these big pharmaceutical companies. They settle so they can still claim "no wrongdoing."

I know it saves everybody money to settle, but I'd like to see more action taken against these people. Maybe 2010 will be the year that sees these unethical acts punished beyond a slap on the wrist and a ticket!

Full Story

Drug Rep Blowing a Whistle

Sarah Thomas is a pharmaceutical sales rep. She is also a football official.

Not exactly the whistleblowing we are interested in , but I could not pass up the "humor?"

Whistleblower, John Kopchinski, Recognized as 2009's Most Influential Person In Business Ethics

John Kopchinski lost his job for "not being a team player" when he exposed Pfizer's illegal marketing and sales of Bextra. The painkiller was being marketed at potentially lethal dosages and uses.
Former sales member turned hero, Kopchinski played a vital role in the record $2.3 million settlement. Ethisphere named him the "Most Influential Person In Business Ethics in 2009."

A very well deserved title!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merck Ignored the Risk of Heart Attack with Vioxx for Four Years

For four years Merck turned a deaf ear to the research linking Vioxx to increased risk of heart attack, a large 35 percent increase in cardiovascular event or death. In 2002 Dr. David Graham testified that there was evidence that 88,000 to 139,000 people had suffered heart attacks as a side-effect of taking Vioxx. Thirty to 40 percent of those people died. That's possibly 55,000 people that died from using this drug!!! This was in 2002, and all Merck did at the time was change the label to suggest a possible risk of heart attack. Try VERY POSSIBLE!

Vioxx was put on the market in 1999. By the end of 2000 there were already strong indications that the drug significantly increased the risks of cardiovascular problems when 21 of the 30 tests had been completed. The drug was not pulled until 2004.

It is alleged that Merck had a list of doctors that were critical of Vioxx and planned to discredit them or "neutralize" them. Vioxx became one of the most prescribed drugs in history. It's sales reached almost $2 billion a year. Let's see, $2 billion multiplied by four years of keeping people in the dark and keeping the drug on the shelf equals roughly $8 billion. Wow, intimidation and greed really are common threads among these companies. If you will remember, Merck is also the company that was pushing Gardasil despite the lack of research and possible risks.

Click here for a list of other drugs marketed under Merck. Makes you question what is going on with these and which one will be next on the list of "oh yeah, and it might actually kill you."

Also, here you will see what Merck is posting on its website about the proceedings in Canada against Vioxx. Please be sure to scroll down to the part about "Today's Merck working for the world to be well." Well what about all the drugs you put on the market yesterday?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

KY Attorney General, Jack Conway, Is On Our Side!

That sounds like a cheesy slogan, but since he took office in January 2008, Jack Conway has made some headway at making Big Pharma pay. He is running for US Senate in 2010. Here is hoping we see more of him soon! Below are links mentioning what he has done for his state's Medicaid program and his website. If you can see through the political mumbo-jumbo, it really seems as if he is one of the good guys fighting for morality instead of greed. Good luck, Jack!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chicago Psychiatrist Claims Anti-Psychotic Drug Helps With Weight-Loss Despite The Obvious With His and Others' Patients

For ten years AstraZeneca LEGALLY compensated Dr. Michael Reinstein, a Chicago psychiatrist, to promote Seroquel and claim that he has research that suggests it helps lose weight in addition to its anti-psychotic "benefits." There is real research that proves not only does the drug not promote weight-loss but causes weight gain and can lead to diabetes.

Reinstein became so valuable to AstraZeneca that despite worries from some that his "findings" were too good to be true, the chief sales executive wrote that they needed to tend to "his every query and satisfy any of his quirky behaviors." Reinstein was putting thousands of mentally ill residents in the Chicago area on Seroquel and traveling the country to give promotional speeches from his personal experiences.

It seems Reinstein forgot to mention the patients that were gaining weight and developing diabetes. Chanile Haynes went from 140 pounds to 300 pounds within two years of starting the drug. She said she had wondered why Reinstein, a man on the larger side, was not taking the medicine himself if it really helped to lose weight. Haynes developed diabetes as a result of her weight gain and is now on even more medication.

Reinstein has claimed that any money he received from drug companies has had no effect on his research! Really? Then why would he threaten at one point to switch his patients to a competitor's drug?
It is clear that AstraZeneca chose profit over safety and truth. Sadly, Dr. Reinstein still can not admit that his palms were greased, and he said what they wanted to hear.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Prof Mohammed Hani; The Real Deal

Webster's defines hero as "a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities."

Why is it that despite the undeniable evidence that Prof Mohammed Hani is a real-live hero, there are still some within the Medical and Pharmaceutical worlds that shun him and resent his dedication to his patients and truth?

This man used his scientific training and compassion for others to uncover the reason his patients were dying once they got to the hospital for help. How could anyone not want him to expose the drug that was killing his and other patients? One answer: money.

Hani did not let that or the personal attacks he would receive stop him from blowing the whistle, and that is why he is a hero and deserves the title of this entry.

Omnicare and Ivax Admit No Wrong-Doing BUT Settle For $112 Million To "Avoid Expensive Litigation"

Omnicare and Ivax have decided to settle for $112 million to "avoid expensive litigation" for alleged drug kickbacks but claim they've done nothing wrong? Omnicare will be paying $98 million and Ivax $14 million plus interest.

I can only begin to imagine how much they are covering up if they thought $112 million would be the cheaper way out. These companies have made so much money through fraud that they can afford to just throw out millions to cover it up and say they will implement new integrity training to prevent future problems. I wonder how much they'll have to pay for that training?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lou Gehrig's vs HPV

Aside from the other 40-something deaths possibly being linked to Gardasil, the vaccination is now the prime suspect in the deaths of two young girls, ages 17 and 20, with Lou Gehrig's Disease. Both girls started showing symptoms within months of starting the vaccination. Sadly 70% of HPV infections clear on their own within one year and 90% within two years. Regular screenings by a doctor can insure early detection and treatment before the virus results in cervical cancer.

Lou Gehrig's on the other hand is a very rapidly progressing disease that leads to death. These poor girls were only doing what they were told by commercials and doctors (who were influenced by Merk) to do to protect themselves. In some cases these young girls were so convinced by this propaganda they became propaganda themselves. (Make sure you look at the wall behind this girl! This is in the student health center!)

What's next? A drug to "help" the 15 million girls that have already been vaccinated not to think about all the possible future side effects to come their way?

Why Would Dr. Harper Deny HPV Vaccines Statements?

Dr. Diane Harper is now saying she did not make statements about Cervavix or Gardasil being dangerous and deadly. She has been quoted by several news sources speaking out about some of the possible side effects and about the question of its actual effectiveness. Now that she is denying this I am wondering why? Who got to Dr. Harper?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Drug Marketed at Girls as Young as 9 Has Never Been Tested On Any Under Age 15

Dr. Diane Harper, lead researcher for Gardasil and Cervarvix, has admitted FOR THE SECOND TIME that these vaccinations have not been tested on young girls and safety could be an issue. In 2007 she was quoted as saying giving the vaccine to girls under 11 is "a great big public health experiment." Early October she addressed the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination and said that there is no real proof the vaccination works in addition to it being given to girls as young as nine even though "there have been no efficacy trials in girls under 15."

Gardasil has been associated with 44 deaths and numerous side effects since its introduction 3 short years ago, and now we are finding out that the main target audience has not even been tested! Unfortunately the girls who have received the vaccination are now the research group. Most of the girls are too young to even know what a cervix or cervical cancer is.

Anyone that has watched T.V. or walked into a pediatrician's office in the last three years has seen the propaganda urging mothers to protect their daughters and get them vaccinated. Now these poor mothers have to worry about any possible unknown side effects their daughters will have to face in the future. To make matters worse the fact is their daughters were probably at a very, very low risk of getting cervical cancer anyway. Then on top of that the vaccination does not even protect against all of the hundreds of HPV viruses that can lead to cervical cancer.

At one point Merk was pushing for the vaccination to become mandatory for school attendance. Texas governor Rick Perry issued an executive order mandating Gardasil for school age girls, but thankfully the ordered was reversed.

Thank you to Dr. Harper for speaking out, and let's hope that people are listening.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

NAMI got $23 from Drug Companies

Who makes the most donations to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness? Guess again, it’s DRUG COMPANIES! It’s no secret that NAMI lobbies big and bad with drug makers to push legislation that benefits BigPharma. Well, maybe they’re about to at least get their hands slapped by Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley. He’s written some letters, and poked around, and now the numbers are out. NAMI got $23 million from drug makers. Yes, almost 75% of the donations NAMI got were from pharmaceutical companies.

Michael Fitzpatrick, the executive director of NAMI promises things will change. He says that NAMI doesn’t want it to look like NAMI is “…in the pockets of pharmaceutical companies…”. Now NAMI will start posting the names of companies that donate $5,000 or more. Bet there’ll start being a lot of $4,999 dollar donations from various fringe groups and “anonymous” donors.
Here’s the story from the NYT.