U.S. Attorney: Johnson & Johnson Paid Millions In Kickbacks To Boost Sales Of Schizophrenia Drug In Nursing Homes

Not a good week for Johnson & Johnson, a company long considered by many to be a good example of corporate social responsibility. Earlier this week, the company expanded their recall of Tylenol and other products, but only after an FDA investigation revealed numerous problems that one of the company’s facilities. Now, the company is accused of paying kickbacks to nursing homes, in order to boost the use of a schizophrenia drug. Read the article here.

TRENTON, N.J. — Federal prosecutors 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 medicine and other drugs.

In a complaint filed Friday, prosecutors said J&J paid rebates and other forms of kickbacks to Omnicare Inc., 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, which was later found to increase risk of death in the elderly.

The allegations are in a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney in Boston, whose office has joined two whistle-blower cases. One was filed in 2003 by a former Omnicare pharmacist in Chicago, Bernard Lisitza, who alleges he was fired after he challenged the Risperdal kickbacks and other improper practices at the company. The other was filed by former Omnicare financial analyst David Kammerer in 2005, after he resigned from the company.

Read more… The New York Times also has an article here.

Pfizer drug studies fudged, report says

MSNBC.COM (Associated Press)
Read the article here.

Analysis of a dozen published studies testing possible new uses for a Pfizer Inc. epilepsy drug found that reporting of the results was often misleading, indicating the medicine worked better than internal company documents showed.

According to the report, when a company-funded study’s primary finding wasn’t favorable, that result was usually buried and something else positive was highlighted, without disclosing the switch.

Read more…