Posted on ToxLaw.com by Sharon Kramer on 9/03/09
Well there is a real shocker! You mean to tell me that improper marketing has played a key role in US health policies and physicians’ practices in recent years?
I have a letter from Kathleen Sebelius, June 2009, complimenting me on my understanding of this concept after I explained to her in detail about ACOEM, the US Chamber, the mold issue and the dark side of “evidence based” medicine in US health policy.
I would propose that the following article about drug company fraudulent marketing is NOT about the biggest fraud in marketing over medical science in the US. It is the third biggest that is trumped by the mold issue and the tobacco issue.
If they can do this for the third biggest, they also need to act on the mold issue. But…how do they handle it when the Department of Justice has been itself involved in romoting fraud in healthcare for the purpose of limiting the government’s own financial liability? Where is the integrity of this new administration if it is only a pot calling a kettle black?
The DOJ has used the ACOEM authors as expert defense witnesses to defeat claims of mold induced illness in children made ill in military housing. Between 2004 and 2007, they have paid these expert defense witnesses approximately $800,000 for their services.
Guess the Department of Justice does not read the Wall Street Journal about the matter, or GAO audit stipulating that the US gov needs to send consistent messaging, or World Health Org about it… or the hundreds if not thousands of letters sent to officials by tax paying citizens asking they get off their asses and DO SOMETHING about the deceit harming MANY.
Nope. They are willing to rely on extrapolations applied to single rodent studies performed by an old Tobacco scientist and his business partner and then mass promoted by the US Chamber and a think-tank to establish health policy when it serves the DOJ’s own $$$$ purpose.
I think the DOJ needs to put its money where it mouth is and fine itself for actively participating in an even bigger fraud in health policy/health care.
Otherwise, it is just an illustration of more hypocricy at its finest coming out of Washington, DC – where insurance and Chamber of Commerce lobbying money flows like molten lava of gold.
Below is the video deposition of Bruce J. Kelman discussing the DOJ using the ACOEM BS to defeat claims of liability for illnesses in sick little military children living in moldy housing (aka the children of the men and women who live their lives for our country):
Today’s Washington Post article of the DOJ “doing its job”:
In Settlement, A Warning To Drugmakers Pfizer to Pay Record Penalty In Improper-Marketing Case
By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 3, 2009
“The Obama administration intensified its public campaignagainst health-care fraud Wednesday, putting drugmakers on notice that they will be forced to atone for improper marketing practices as prosecutors unveiled a record $2.3 billion settlement with Pfizer.
Officials at the departments of Justice and Health and human Services called the agreement with Pfizer and one of its subsidiaries a cautionary example of their strategy to team up with states to police errant health-care businesses.
The Pfizer unit Pharmacia & Upjohn pleaded guilty to a single felony charge that accused the company of marketing its anti-inflammatory drug Bextra for broader uses and higher dosages than those approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The company allegedly enticed doctors to prescribe the drug or pain relief by taking them on lavish trips, created sham requests for medical information as an excuse to send unsolicited advertising materials to physicians, and drafted articles promoting the pills without disclosing its role in preparing the stories.
In connection with the settlement, Pharmacia & Upjohn consented to pay $1.3 billion in fines and forfeiture, the biggest criminal penalty ever imposed in the United States, prosecutors said. Pfizer paid an additional $1 billion to state and federal authorities to resolve civil illegations of improper marketing over Bextra and three more drugs: Geodon, an antipsychotic medicine; Zyvox, an antibiotic; and Lyrica, an epilepsy medicine….The settlement comes as federal agencies pursue a wider strategy to target wrongdoing in the deep-pocketed health-care industry.
Earlier this year, Justice and HHS deployed a task force of prosecutors and federal agents to bring criminal charges against the ringleaders of small groups… The Justice Department’s civil division, led by Tony West, also has pledged to devote more attention to whistleblowers at drug companies and insurance firms who flag improper payments and marketing schemes.
The department is on track this fiscal year to collect more than $3 billion in False Claims Act cases; most of the money will go back to the U.S. Treasury.
The announcement yesterday came amid the escalating political debate on health-care reform,…
Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli called the Pfizer case “an example of the department’s ongoing and intensive efforts to protect the American public” from fraud and abuse, which costs the Treasury billions of dollars a year…..Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said her department’s inspector general will heighten scrutiny of the company to make sure it does not run afoul of the law……”
Sharon Noonan Kramer