Tag Archive for 'fraud'

More Reasons to NOT Get Flu Shots?

AHRP reports that history is about to repeat itself:

In the 1976 swine flu vaccine program, 40 million people were vaccinated with an inadequately tested vaccine. The government gave the vaccine manufacturers immunity from liability, but created an alternative compensation program. Five thousand people sought benefits for vaccine injuries.

Today, as in 1976, official concern has focused on flu vaccine availability without regard for the safety of an H1N1 vaccine. Many national regulatory agencies have set-up fast-track approval processes for the H1N1 vaccine, which means that a vaccine might be licensed without the usual safety and efficacy data requirements. Vaccine safety will therefore have to be monitored through post-marketing surveillance.

But there is reason for concern that we will repeat the debacle of the 1976 H1N1 outbreak in the USA, where mass vaccination was associated with complications, which stopped the campaign and led to the withdrawal of the vaccine.

What’s more, today, the government has NOT established an ALTERNATIVE COMPENSATION PROGRAM – as it had in 1976. The existing vaccine compensation program covers only designated vaccines and does NOT cover most adult vaccines.

The U.S. government has adopted (what critics regard) a reckless policy encouraging (if not mandating) the use of untested controversial vaccines with novel adjuvants likely to be used to strengthen vaccines and stretch the supply–they are named MF59 (Novartis) and ASO3 (Glaxo Smith-Kline). Only 3 vaccines using these adjuvants have been licensed in Europe, and none have been given a license in the US.

It is likely that these adjuvants will cause far more damage and autoimmune illness than the swine vaccine used in 1976.

Indeed, manufacturers have been given immunity from liability, as have the government program planners. But no compensation mechanism has been created for citizens who are likely to suffer harm. This is but a tacit acknowledgement that the vaccines are likely to produce harm.

Urciuoli sentenced to three years in federal prison

Robert Urciuoli was sentenced to three years in federal prison for conspiracy and mail fraud committed while he was president and CEO of Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence, R.I…

Prosecutors said Urciuoli directed Roger Williams Medical Center to pay then-state Sen. John Celona $260,000 over the course of six years to push the hospital’s interests in the General Assembly and intervene on its behalf in contract negotiations with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island and UnitedHealthcare. Urciuoli disguised the scheme by hiring Celona as a consultant to raise community awareness of an affiliated nursing home, according to the indictment.

Urciuoli initially was found guilty on the charges in 2006 and received the same sentence, but the conviction was overturned after an appeals court found that the jury based its conclusions on flawed instructions from the judge. Celona, who cooperated with prosecutors and testified at Urciuoli’s first trial, was sentenced to 2½ years for his role.  (more here)

House of Numbers

After the release of SSI’s investigation into AIDS co-discoverer Robert Gallo’s scientific misconduct, Brent Leung’s film, House of Numbers, will debut this month in cities throughout the US.

Mr. Leing gained unprecidented access to scientists and Nobel Laureates on both sides of the question, leaving it up to viewers to decide whether AIDS is a legitimate threat, or the scientific community’s greatest hoax. 

Now approaching $1 trillion in taxpayer support since 1981, it’s a fascinating view into the pharmaceutical industry whether one believes in the research or not. After two decades of NIH, CDC, and pharmaceutical retaliation against journalists and the media, the world has a chance to make up our own minds. House of Numbers will help you understand the mechanics of what may be America’s most virulent political virus.

If Bernard Madoff Were a Doctor

Dr. Kate Scannell compares disgraced financier Bernie Madoff to pharmaceutical shill, Scott S. Reuben, MD: 

In an analogous manner, the story of Dr. Scott S. Reuben tells the tale of one man who, in pursuit of personal gain, harmed huge segments of our nation’s health care system. That he could get away with falsifying pharmaceutical research and medical publications on such a massive scale over many years also tells a larger story about our nation’s medical research industrial complex. 

That complex — the enormous, poorly regulated, financially incestuous and opaque system that generates and disseminates the medical information we use to determine health care for patients — is similarly structured to allow individuals and privileged industries to profit through backroom deals. 

A few days ago, it was widely reported that Reuben, an anesthesiologist in Massachusetts and a faculty member of Tufts’ medical school, had falsified at least 21 of his 72 published research studies. He simply made them up. 

Many of those fictional studies promoted the use of painkillers — like Pfizer’s Celebrex or Merck’s Vioxx — during orthopedic surgeries, highlighting yet another layer of his disgrace. Those drugs, known collectively as “COX-2″ drugs, have been suspected of causing severe side effects like heart attacks and strokes, and Vioxx was finally withdrawn from the market in 2004. 

As was reported in Scientific American, Reuben’s work tried to encourage surgeons to abandon use of older and less expensive anti-inflammatory painkillers in favor of newer and more expensive ones called “COX-2″ drugs. 

In addition to faking research, downplaying COX-2 side effects, and jacking up the cost of medical care, Reuben also profited from financial arrangements with Merck and Pfizer. Those relationships are hard to confirm in his publications, but you find evidence of them in odd places. For example, in a conference brochure (Reuben lectured widely to disseminate his “research”) you discover that he not only received “grants” from Merck and Pfizer, but that he was also on their for-hire speaker’s bureau.  

The rest of Dr. Scannell’s commentary is found at Inside Bay Area.