The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois filed a federal fraud lawsuit today against a Chicago psychiatrist profiled by ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune in 2009 for his alleged excessive prescribing of antipsychotic drugs to nursing home patients.
A federal lawsuit has been filed against pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for its role in paying Chicago psychiatrist Dr. Michael Reinstein nearly $500,000 over the course of a decade to conduct research and to promote its anti-psychotic drug, Seroquel. Cited in the lawsuit was the fact that Reinstein would continually prescribe roughly double the amount of drugs other psychiatrists would prescribe for the same conditions.
A Chicago Tribune investigation recently showed how many frail and vulnerable Illinois nursing home residents have been unnecessarily dosed with anti-psychotics, leading to harm and an increased risk of death. One psychiatrist, the Tribune found in a joint investigation with ProPublica, provided assembly-line care to thousands of mentally ill patients.
AstraZeneca paid Chicago psychiatrist Dr. Michael Reinstein $490,000 over a decade to travel the nation promoting its best-selling antipsychotic drug, Seroquel. In return, Reinstein provided the company a vast customer base: thousands of residents in Chicago-area nursing homes.