Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
“I think that health care, over time, is going to become more popular,” then-White House senior advisor David Axelrod promised David Gregory about Obamacare last September. That same month, the Health Information Campaign, founded by high-profile leftist activists including former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, spent $2 million on a national television ad campaign touting Obamcare’s first insurance mandates. Now, six months after Axelrod’s promise, and a full year after the bill was signed into law, the results are in: Obamacare is more unpopular than ever.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
NEWS: 2011 PRESS RELEASE
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced his intervention in a "qui tam" (whistleblower) lawsuit against Bristol Myers-Squibb (BMS), one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. The lawsuit is the largest health insurance fraud case ever pursued by a California state agency.
Former employees of BMS filed a whistleblower action under seal in Superior Court in Los Angeles alleging that BMS bribed doctors to prescribe BMS drugs. The lawsuit alleges that the company provided illegal kickbacks to doctors in order to increase the company's pharmaceutical sales in California. The Commissioner seeks monetary penalties and the disgorgement of millions of dollars in unlawful profits the company made as a result of kickbacks, plus treble damages. The kickback scheme ultimately came at the expense of the private health insurance industry, which paid for the drugs, and California consumers.
"This sort of fraud has long plagued our health insurance system, leading to billions of dollars annually in added health care costs nationally," Commissioner Jones said. "Besides the obvious and deplorable ethical violations in such cases, health care fraud also leads to higher premiums for consumers and an unnecessary and unjust increase in health care costs. As Insurance Commissioner, I will use the full force and resources of this department to root out insurance fraud and hold all responsible people and companies accountable. In this particular case, we are uncertain whether the kickback scheme is still occurring. If discovery discloses that violations are continuing, the Department will seek an injunction and penalties to address those violations."
The case in which Commissioner Jones is intervening was initially filed by former BMS employees Michael Wilson and Lucius and Eve Allen, all of whom are represented by the law firm of Waters Kraus & Paul in Los Angeles. The suit alleges that BMS instructed its sales representatives to court doctors with sports tickets, fancy meals, honoraria, all-expense-paid trips, and gifts to induce them to prescribe BMS drugs. The complaint alleges that the result of the scheme was to increase prescriptions of BMS drugs, which private health insurers (and, ultimately, the policy holding public) in California ended up paying for. It is believed that insurance companies in California have spent over $3.5 billion to cover the costs of the drugs the lawsuit claims BMS sought to promote with its kickback scheme.
"We need to be sure that doctors are prescribing drugs because those drugs are best for their patients and not because a pharmaceutical company provided doctors with trips and kickbacks," Commissioner Jones said. "These illegal practices drive up the cost of health insurance for millions of Californians. Besides the illegality involved in this case, such actions are plainly and simply unjust, and I will seek to stop such unlawful practices."
The case will be decided by a jury in Los Angeles.
For a copy of the complaint, please select this link.
And you Wonder how America finds itself virtually Bankrupt, with shenanigans like this parading out into the sunlight. Are you enjoying that $4.00 & $5.00 a gallon gasoline too? Because This is what you get by electing people who promise to make life ´Fair´, so that everyone will 'feel better'.
Aren't BMS the people who've foisted Abilify upon the world too?
0:26 "Call your Doctor if you have," ..... the Ability remaining to even Reach for the phone.
And ask them if they're on the take, after you've read the Insurance Commissioner's complaint.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
"Johnson & Johnson executives deceived South Carolina doctors about the safety of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, and the drugmaker should be held liable for that deception, a lawyer said.
Continue Reading Bloomberg J&J/Risperdal Coverage
"Well, if you'd just collected almost $29 million in compensation and won heaps of praise from your board of directors, would you want to exit stage left?"
The juiciest part of this Risperdal Implosion - to us - is that Psychiatrists, Excuse Us, Illuminati, who are SO Brilliant, that without any actual Bio-Science beyond their reviews of the Wizard Of Oz, can infallibly diagnose incurable disorders/diseases which only They can treat, ..... oops, excuse us, Symptom Control/Chemically Lobotomize, .....while simultaneously Losing 2 Psychiatric Hospitals and their staffs, SFMHB 06/13/2007 ..... never saw it coming, ..... as their University was sitting on $12 Million Dollars of RWJF/J&J/Risperdal Grant Monies.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Military Polypharmacy, PTSD, Deaths
"The problem of prescription overdose in the military has its parallel in civilian life. The tragic overdose victims in both spheres represent canaries in the coal mine--only the most obvious victims of what has become our national orgy of over using psychotropic drugs."
Dr. Allen Frances, psychiatry professor emeritus and former chairman of psychiatry, Duke University who chaired the DSM-IV Task Force revision --i.e., psychiatry's diagnositic / practice manual--has emerged as one of the most outspoken, thought provoking critics of psychiatry and its diagnostic and prescribing practices.
Dr. Frances recognizes what few US doctors--and hardly any psychiatrists--do:
The "Hippocratic injunction of "FIRST DO NO HARM" evolved in ancient Greece specifically to discourage practitioners from being overly aggressive in using dangerous treatments for conditions that are not responding (and may not respond well) to existing interventions. It is important to recognize that sometimes the treatment becomes worse than the disease.
Indeed, psychiatrists' overprescribing psychotropic drugs have worsened the disease or mental disorder they are presumed to be suffering from. Presumed, because as Dr. Frances--who chaired the Task Force of the DSM-IV revision-- has acknowledged, the concepts that define mental disorders in the DSM are just concepts lacking scientific authenticity:
“there is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it....these concepts are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the boundaries.”
Below, Dr. Frances identifies the problems that have led to increased deaths among US troops--and he offers corrective steps to stem the tide of treatment-related deaths.
Vera Hassner Sharav
PSYCHOLOGY TODAY / PSYCHIATRIC TIMES
By Allen Frances, MD | February 13, 2011 / March 9, 2011
The New York Times of February 14 carries the disturbing news of an alarming increase in deaths from accidental overdose among our active duty military personnel and our war veterans. The usual scenario is a diagnosis of PTSD (often accompanied by a pain syndrome) unsuccessfully treated with a wide array of psychotropic drugs, which in their aggregate wind up killing the patient-- often at a very young age. Autopsy reveals significant blood levels of prescribed medication reflecting the heavy drug cocktail and no other apparent cause of death.
PTSD/pain patients are often prescribed a combination of psychotropics that may include--one antidepressant, one antipsychotic, one antianxiety, one sleep, and one pain medicine. Sometimes, the enormous medication burden is worsened even further--either by the simultaneous prescription of more than one drug from a given class or the additional self medication effected by the sharing of pills among patients.
Individual psychotropic drugs can have serious side effects--in excessive combination they sometimes threaten respiratory and cardiac function in a potentially lethal way. And the whole is even more dangerous than the sum of its parts since the medications can interact to increase each other's blood levels. Prescription drugs are overtaking illegal drugs as the primary cause of accidental overdose and death.
To its credit, the military is catching on and beginning to initiate procedures to restrict and review heedless and excessive polypharmacy. But this is a tough problem with no ready solutions. Some of the factors involved are:
1. The over prescription of multiple drugs that is also rampant in civilian life. There is no research literature to guide and restrain polypharmacy--so it becomes subject to individual physician whim, often under patient pressure for relief.
2. PTSD has no effective medication treatment, encouraging the potentially dangerous scatter shot approach of treating the individual symptoms each individually with its own medication.
3.The recent ubiquity and carelessness of prescription of dangerous pain medications that resulted as an over-compensation by the military after it was previously criticized for being too sparing in their use.
4. Because they are legal, accessible, and cheap, pain medications are now an attractive alternative to illegal recreational drug use--but with dangerous consequences given their interaction with other psychotropic drugs.
5.The tendency to always add and never sunset medications leads to the continued use of drugs that have not been effective, but will add on to the cumulative and interacting side effects.
6. Chasing the side effects of one drug by adding another to deal with them--eg if an antidepressant causes anxiety or insomnia it is usually a mistake to add yet another potentially harmful pill to deal with these side effects rather than reducing the dose or trying another antidepressant.
7. A shortage of mental health personnel that results in pill pushing rather than the easy access to the one treatment with clear efficacy for PTSD- cognitive behavior therapy.
8. Forgetting, the Hippocratic injunction of "FIRST DO NO HARM." This evolved in ancient Greece specifically to discourage practitioners from being overly aggressive in using dangerous treatments for conditions that are not responding (and may not respond well) to existing interventions. It is important to recognize that sometimes the treatment becomes worse than the disease.
This is exactly our modern dilemma with some cases of PTSD where restraint is safer and saner than unreasonable treatment perfectionism and optimism-- which can be costly and sometimes even lethal.
None of these problems will be easy to solve, but some immediate corrective steps seem obvious:
1. Greatly enhance the availability of CBT. If it is too expensive or difficult to recruit trained mental health professionals, train the needed cohort of medics and paraprofessionals. CBT is readily teachable to those with limited previous training.
2. Educate doctors on the risks and limitations of polypharmacy for both PTSD and for pain syndromes, and especially the combination of both.
3. Require special explanations from physicians whenever they prescribe more than three psychotropic medications, or prescribe higher than standard dosages, or prescribe drugs that have significant interactions, or prescribe simultaneously two drugs from the same class.
4. Require automatic, thorough quality assurance auditing to ensure there are adequate reasons for exceptions.
5. Pharmacies should routinely use available drug interaction algorithms to spot dangerous doses and drug combinations and to alert clinicians.
6. Readily available detoxification and rehabilitation should be provided for those who have become addicted to prescription medications and/or other addictive substances.
This problem of prescription overdose in the military has its parallel in civilian life. The tragic overdose victims in both spheres represent canaries in the coal mine--only the most obvious victims of what has become our national orgy of over using psychotropic drugs.
Thank You AHRP
The Modern version speaks of 'respecting hard won scientific gains' and the Classical speaks of respecting, and 'holding confidential between Physician and Patient (as in State/World Police Registration due to their filthy Treatment's, non-disclosed Homicide Risk) everything which the Physician may learn.'
According to a 1993 survey of 150 U.S. and Canadian medical schools, for example, only 14 percent of modern oaths prohibit euthanasia, 11 percent hold convenant with a deity, 8 percent forswear abortion, and a mere 3 percent forbid sexual contact with patients.