Big Pharma: America Strikes Back...
Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
October 11th, 2003
Despots, worldwide, hate America and everything it stands for one simple reason - Americans say "No" to totalitarianism. In America, people demand to think for themselves, and make decisions based on their observations.
Big pharma, worldwide, is trying to be planet earth's lnewest despot. They almost made it. But they didn't count on the North American Health Freedom Movement blocking their efforts to make humanity "drug-dependent" on a grand scale. They didn't realize that Americans would see big pharma's efforts to gouge a huge chunk out of our economy as a "criminal act."
America is waking up in anger. All across the land, consumer advocates, from every walk of American life, are sharpening their swords and stepping into the fray with gusto. In today's story, it's California, and the assault team from the California Attorney General's Office who have identified, and are prosecuting, one of the most horrifying, and despicable, rip-offs in the history of America.
The Attorney General has caught two major pharmaceutical companies, Abbott and Wyeth, hacking, and bleeding, California's health program for society's needy. It is not yet known how many Californian's suffered from their illicit acts - but the Attorney General is looking very hard to find out - and is taking aggressive action against the drug lords.
According to court documents laying on my desk, quote "as a result of their fraudulent and illegal scheme, defendants and their customers have reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal profits at the expense of the State of California and directly contributed to Med-Cal's soaring cost of providing prescription drugs for the State's needy. The following chart reflects the fact that during the period from 1997 through 2001, California succeeded in reducing the number of Medi-Cal recipients by almost 15%. However, Medi-Cal' prescription drug costs doubled over that period, from $1.55 billion in 1997 to $3.11 billion in 2001, due in part to false price reporting of Abbott, Wyeth and others, which inflated the prices paid by Medi-Cal for such drugs, as illustrated by the chart below:
The chart, which shows every year's totals, shows that in 1997 Medi-Cal purchased $1,553,151,142.74 worth of prescription drugs for 13,115,974 needy patients at an average cost of $118.41. But in 2001 the numbers changed - in 2001 Medi-Cal purchased $3,110, 003,138.75 worth of prescription drugs for 11,200,055 needy patients at an average cost of $277.67. In other words, even though med-Cal reduced their patient load by almost two million people, the price of prescription drugs doubled.
Another long chart shows that from 1994 through 2001, Abbott had falsely priced their product Vancomycin 900% higher to Medi-Cal than what they actually sold it for to suppliers. To suppliers, in 1994, they charged $8.06, but Medi-Cal paid $49.42. To suppliers, in 2001, they charged $7.40, but Medi-Cal paid $64.35.
Is anyone surprised that big pharma would rip-off hundreds of millions of dollars from California's needy and desperate?
BUT, WHAT MAY SURPRISE YOU IS - WHAT HAPPENS NEXT...
The State of California just had a Gubernatorial recall election, and in it, elected a man who, for the last several years, has been a speaker at Chiropractic Conventions - Arnold Schwarzenegger. The State Attorney General, Bill Lockyer, when a Congressman, voted for an earlier version of California's Health Freedom Bill. One could say, tongue in cheek, that "Here in California, the political leadership isn't pro-forma pro-pharma..."
The State of California activated it's so-called "False Claims Act" against Wyeth and Abbott. That act, passed years ago by the legislature, provides for "Triple the amount of the State of California's damages; Civil penalties of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) for each false claim; recovery of costs, attorney's fees and expenses; and such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper.
Let's add that up, and see what Abbott and Wyeth are facing. Let's just, for conversation, say they bilked $500 million dollars from Medi-Cal. That means that the State, invoking the "Triple damages" rule, will seek $1.5 billion dollars to start. Then, they'll ask for the $10,000 fine PER BILLING UNIT. What that means is that if the average billing line item was $50, divide the 50 into the original $500 million and get the fact that there were 10 million individual false claims - each carrying a $10,000 fine with it. That adds up to $10 billion dollars in penalties.
Even better, is that Abbott and Wyatt were turned in, with evidence, by a "whistleblower." That "whistleblower," called a "Qui Tam Plaintiff" is entitled to about 30% of the money recovered. Now there's a payday...
If you, or someone you know, works for big pharma, and they know something about a rip-off in progress, have them contact Taxpayers Against Fraud (http://www.taf.org/) and they'll show you what to do.
To their credit, neither Abbott, nor Wyeth, were one of the 26 drug companies that originally funded big pharma's so-called "anti-quackery" campaign.
Tim Bolen - Consumer Advocate
This "Millions of Health Freedom Fighters - Newsletter" is about the battle between "Health and Medicine" on Planet Earth. Tim Bolen is an op/ed writer with extensive knowledge of the activities of a subversive organization calling itself the "quackbusters," and that organization's attempts to suppress, and discredit, any, and all health modalities that compete with the allopathic (MD) paradigm for consumer health dollars. The focus of the newsletter is on the ongoing activities, battles, politics, and the victories won by members of the "Health Freedom Movement" against the "quackbusters" It details "who the quackbusters are, what they are, where they are operating, when they appear, and how they operate - and how easy it is to beat them..."
For background information on the "Battle between Health and Medicine" go to: http://www.savedrclark.net/by_whom2.htm. A copy of THIS newsletter, and older ones, are viewable at the website http://www.quackpotwatch.org/default.htm.
For EVEN MORE interesting and related articles go to http://www.bolenreport.com.