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Omnicare, Johnson & Johnson, Risperdal, Whistleblowers and Legal Woes Back in the News Again

Posted Jan 15 2010 2:12pm

This has not been a good day for J and J today.  In addition to the Tylenol recall, another case investigating marketing and kickbacks in now in the courts.  Omnicare is no stranger to kick backs and it was just in November they admitted no wrong doing, but kicked out close to 100 million in money to settle the issue.  What is this any more, nobody admits to any wrong doing and they just keep throwing money at problems and issues that may entail big time wrong doing?  image

How much longer are the deep pockets of pharma and other entities going to hold out?  It could be a while as they all sit on a ton of money, but like everything else in the world, the big pockets seem to be getting smaller, or maybe it’s just the amount that is dug out of the pockets is the tilting point here.  Here’s what was posted in November and there’s an additional video at the link. 

“One of the companies accused in the case of providing kickbacks was Johnson and Johnson in their marketing of Risperdal.  In addition $8 million in kickbacks from drug manufacturer IVAX in exchange for an agreement to purchase $50 million dollars worth of drugs.  With Risperdal coming off of patent that somewhat will make less expensive generics available for seniors.”

Psych drugs are a hot topic anywhere today too so again with technology and tracing back audit trails and perhaps videos and other material used in marketing of days past we have information to trace some of this, what a novel approach, technology helping with transparency. 

I had somebody the other day pose the question about how doctors get all their information relative to healthcare, devices and so on.  With drugs and device companies it’s like any other business, from the sales and marketing departments. One other item worth a short note is that in June of 2008, generic Risperdal hit the shelves, so competition after that time was alive and well.   I keep repeating this past post so many times but gosh it just seems to apply when it comes to dollars being made in healthcare today, those algos and whistleblowers generate a lot of money.  BD

The Two Hot Words in Healthcare today Whistleblowers and Algorithms

BOSTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Boston said Friday that health care giant Johnson & Johnson paid tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks so nursing homes would put more patients on its blockbuster schizophrenia drug.

In a complaint filed Friday in Boston, prosecutors said J&J paid the kickbacks, in the form of special rebates and other payments, to Omnicare, the country's biggest dispenser of prescription drugs in nursing homes. Prosecutors allege Omnicare pharmacists then recommended that nursing home patients with signs of Alzheimer's disease be put on the powerful schizophrenia drug Risperdal.

"Kickbacks in the nursing home pharmacy context are particularly nefarious because they can result in excessive prescribing of strong drugs to patients who have little or no control over the medical care they are receiving," U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said in a statement. "Nursing home doctors should be able to rely on the integrity of the recommendations they receive from pharmacists, and those recommendations should not be a product of money that a drug company is paying to the pharmacy."

Besides Johnson & Johnson, the complaint names two of its subsidiaries as defendants: Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which makes and sells Risperdal and other drugs, and Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, which entered into contracts with Omnicare.

U.S. Attorney: Johnson & Johnson paid kickbacks to boost sales - USATODAY.com

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