Sen. Chuck Grassley warned the administration not to back off from a proposed rule that would create a website to disclose medical researchers’ conflicts of interest. “I am troubled that taxpayers cannot learn about the outside income of the researchers whom the taxpayers are funding, and this flies in the face of President Obama’s call for more transparency in the government. The public’s business should be public.
Federal investigators say they are starting to target individual executives in health care fraud cases previously aimed at impersonal corporations.
It’s raising the stakes for corporate honchos at drug companies, medical device manufacturers, nursing home chains and others who deal with Medicare and Medicaid.
Drug company corporate websites tell us of their integrity and utmost commitment to people’s health and well-being. The American Psychiatric Association’s website begins with “Healthy Minds. Healthy Lives” and asserts the “highest ethical standards of professional conduct.” Yet a mountain of evidence points to an entirely different picture. Most recently, thirty-eight state attorneys won a $68.5 million settlement with pharmaceutical titan AstraZeneca for unlawful marketing of antipsychotic Seroquel for unapproved use. These states also charged this company with failing to disclose the drug’s harmful side effects and concealing negative information about its safety and efficacy. “The company’s illegal practices put our most vulnerable populations at risk, including children and older patients with dementia and other debilitating diseases,” states Illinois Attorney General. U.S. sales of Seroquel brought in $5.3 billion for AstraZeneca last year.
Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb bribed thousands of California doctors and pharmacists to promote its drugs, using illegal kickbacks, lavish gifts and “happy hours” with the Los Angeles Lakers to expand its market share in the state, state officials said.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced Friday that his office had joined a previously sealed whistleblower lawsuit against the company, calling it the largest health insurance fraud case ever pursued by a California state agency.
Two of the three whistleblowers in the case are former Lakers player Lucius Allen and his wife, Eve, who worked for the drug company as employees and provided access to the basketball team, whose players participated in “Lakers Dream Camps” set up by the drug company for doctors and their family members, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit was filed in 2007 but was sealed until the state joined the case recently.
A mother-turned advocate’s journey that links a non-profit children’s advocacy group, with assets over $15 million  with nationally-renowned mass tort and class action defense law firms, to the Connecticut DCF – an $865 million bureaucracy, as described by the Connecticut Mirror.