Thursday, December 6, 2007

Big Pharma and Bad Press Go Hand-in Hand?

Can't the Big Bad Drug Industry do anything right?

Today I came across a PharmaFraud article - The Old "Two Sets of Books" Scam - which discusses a little provision buried within the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) which Big Pharma helped to get passed. This little item allowed Pharma Manufacturers to send one set of drug price data to the federal government, and another set to the States.

The MMA requires Pharma Manufacturers to report average drug prices to the Federal Government, but the Federal Government is not allowed to give this pricing information to the States. There is only one reason that Big Pharma pushed through such a ridiculous clause; to defraud the government.

Big Pharma sends false drug prices to the federal government, the States send utilization data to the federal government, and the federal government verifies the URA (Unit Rebate Amount), calculated by the Manufacturers; a calculation that is based on the Pharma Manufacturers phony prices.

A recent document made public in Re: Pharma Industry AWP Litigation, reveals Abbott's use of "two sets of books" (For additional background, review PF's post;
The Five Sets of Books Methodology for Covering-up Fraud and Hiding Drug Diversion). Recently, the DOJ issued a subpoena seeking unit, price, and rebate data for several drugs made by Abbott. The State of Texas had previously served Abbott with a subpoena in which they requested and received the same data. But guess what; Abbott sent one set of data to Texas, and a different set of data to the Feds.

Humm...doesn't sound too good for Abbott.

Then, I find an announcement which PhRMA released today regarding the wonderful goodwill which the pharmaceutical companies are providing to those in need.

The Pharmaceutical Industry provides Relief to Mexican Flood Victims

The pharmaceutical industry has quickly come to the aid of over one million people who have been affected by the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Noel in late October and early November in the Tabasco and Chiapas regions of southern Mexico.“The flooding in Mexico has caused serious damage to the Chiapas and Tabasco regions, which puts the many people who live there in danger,” said Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO Billy Tauzin. “Our member companies are supporting the aid workers in their fight against potential diseases and other health related problems that could arise as a result of the flood.”PhRMA member company contributions have included:

Abbott’s donation consists of 28,000 boxes of antibiotics, 94,000 bottles of serum, 7,000 packages of infant formula, 46,000 nutritional supplements, and 100 glucose meters with 10,000 reactive strips. In addition, Abbott has donated the resources for HIV and Hepatitis A, B and C exams and
blood tests. It has also provided the materials to reactivate the operation of the blood bank that services several hospitals in Villahermosa.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has made a donation of medicines and OTC products valued at more than $580,000. The contribution comprises quantities of Ceftin and Bactroban, which is valued at around $100,000, as well as Septrin, Amoxil, Zentel, Virlix and Zovira. GSK will be working with its donations partner, AmeriCares, and its in-country partners, the Mexican Order of Malta, to distribute the products.

Johnson & Johnson is distributing OTC drugs, antibiotics, wound care products, and food and water through its disaster relief partner, AmeriCares. It also guarantees that any U.S. based employee of Johnson & Johnson will have their contributions to the flood victims matched 2-for-1
through their Matching Gifts Program.

Merck is donating $50,000 in cash to the American Red Cross and working closely with their partners on the ground to assess the situation and provide any medicine and support that will be requested in the future.

Pfizer contributed $17,000 from its disaster relief fund which was matched by Corporate Affairs Mexico for a sum total of $34,000 allocated for reconstruction works. It also donated drinking water as well as other needed supplies and contributed medicines worth $80,000 channeled through the Ministry of Health. To its Tobasco based peers, Pfizer donated a sum total of $17,000.

Schering-Plough is distributing to its colleagues in Mexico cash donations and medicines for adults and children, such as antibiotics, antifungals, pain medicines, and treatments for colds and flu. Moreover, it is delivering supplies such as groceries medical supplies, cleaning agents, house
wares, as well as other items.

Wyeth is donating 18,600 units of nutritional products (SMA, Promil and Progres), as part of a national “United for Them” relief initiative, which includes other major companies as well as Televisa, Mexico’s main TV network.

If I'm not mistaken, aren't these the same Big Pharma companies which have been getting a lot of bad press and are just a little in trouble with the feds right now?

But hey, at least that may actually be helping some folks who need the help right now.

I'm glad for that.


    I had e surgery and in the post-op pack was MAXIDEX(dexamethasone) drops by Alcon Labs.

    Two days later I was BLIND


    I had e surgery and in the post-op pack was MAXIDEX(dexamethasone) drops by Alcon Labs.

    Two days later I was BLIND