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Think We Don't Need Health Care Reform?

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Greco, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Greco

    Greco New Member

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    There's no way I can comment on this disgusting story without injecting partisan comments. Stories like this, unfortunately, aren't that uncommon. However, in the case of Pfizer they voluntarily entered a GUILTY plea to the accusation. Usually these types of stories involve a monetary case settlement, absent of any admission of guilt. Not this time. They did the crime and the evidence was so overwhelming there was no quiet settlement available. During the past eight years of the Bush administration we saw a relentless assault on product, food and drug regulations, often termed by Republicans as "needless regulations". They believed then, and still do today, that Ronald Reagan's "honor system" works. The potential profits were so vast, Pfizer threw out morals and integrity and went for the big bucks. Now they're busted.

    A story like this adds hard, undeniable proof that our health care industry needs reform. We need it for our own safety. Reflect on this part of the news report that states, "Drug companies often pay physicians to prescribe their drugs to patients. In fact, The Times reported today that marketing plans developed by Forest Laboratories for its drug Lexapro included using cash and other perks to persuade psychiatrists, primary care doctors and other medical specialists to prescribe the antidepressant." Absent of the federal government's involvement in regulating this industry, who is on our side to insure the medicine is safe, will actually do what is claimed, and is being prescribed because we really need it, not because a doctor has been paid by the drug company to do so?

    I've had first had experience with this issue. Several years ago I came across a news story on MSN's home page about a specific heart medication I was currently taking. The story detailed studies at prestigious institutions that all concluded the medication not only did not do what it claimed, but actually made conditions worse. I contacted my cardiologist's office, faxed them a copy of the story, and inquired if they still wanted me to take this medication. The next day a nurse from his office called me and said they were already aware of the studies, and if a patient wanted to switch to another medication they would issue a new prescription. She indicated they'd had a number of calls about this medication. So she was asking me if I wanted to continue taking a medication that didn't work, that actually made conditions worse or switch? It's also worth observing that after they became aware the drug was a lemon, they didn't initiate contact with patients to switch them to different medications. There's little doubt this cardiologist was receiving payment from the drug company to prescribe this specific drug, and he hadn't met his quota yet. That's part of how our current system works. That's part of what needs reforming.


    Pfizer fined $2.3 billion in drug-marketing case

    The drug giant pleads guilty to illegally marketing Bextra, a painkiller removed in 2005. It's fined for illegally marketing 13 drugs.

    Posted by Charley Blaine on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 11:51 AM

    Drug giant Pfizer agreed today to plead guilty to a charge of illegally marketing the now-withdrawn painkiller Bextra. But that's not all. The drug giant agreed to pay $2.3 billion in fines to settle allegations that it illegally marketed 13 drugs, including Bextra. It is the largest fine ever levied for fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Pfizer was deemed a repeat offender in pitching drugs to patients and doctors for conditions not approved by healthcare regulators.

    Pfizer had pleaded guilty in 2004 to an earlier criminal charge of improper sales tactics and its marketing practices have been under federal supervision since then. Pfizer pulled from the market in 2005 after the Food and Drug Administration said the drug could cause a dangerous skin condition and as well as cause heart problems. At the time, Bextra was generating $1.3 billion a year in sales The settlement announced on Wednesday by Pfizer includes a $1.3 billion criminal fine related to methods of selling Bextra. It also includes $1 billion in civil payments related to so-called "off-label" sales of drugs -- meaning for uses not authorized by the FDA -- and payments to healthcare professionals.

    Marketing fraud cases against pharmaceutical companies have become almost routine, The New York Times said, with almost every major drug maker being accused of giving kickbacks to doctors or shortchanging the Medicaid program on prices. Prosecutors said that they have become so alarmed by the growing criminality in the industry that they have begun increasing fines into the billions of dollars and will soon start charging doctors individually as well. In January, prosecutors announced that they would fine Eli Lilly $1.4 billion for its illegal marketing efforts on behalf of Zyprexa, an antipsychotic.

    Drug companies often pay physicians to prescribe their drugs to patients. In fact, The Times reported today that marketing plans developed by Forest Laboratories for its drug Lexapro included using cash and other perks to persuade psychiatrists, primary care doctors and other medical specialists to prescribe the antidepressant.

    Today's announcement was made by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.co...t-dispatches.aspx?post=1247520&_blg=1,1247520
     
  2. top gun

    top gun New Member

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    Good post Greco... and way to jump out on a breaking story.

    I think I heard this was the biggest fine of it's type ever. This is a perfect example of big business not being able to police itself.

    And it also helps show why we need a public option for healthcare... single payer would be better... but at least some real competition and not just this price matching daisy chain we have now.


     
  3. Greco

    Greco New Member

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    How sad and tragic. It makes us look like a third world country, but that seems to be the utopian view of Republicans.
     
  4. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Wait.. why does Pfizer illegally marketing a drug mean that we need a public option, or a single-payer system?
     
  5. Greco

    Greco New Member

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    Because liberals have the moral high ground on this issue, compared to the "I've got mine and you don't deserve yours" crowd.
     
  6. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    That does not answer my question.... was this supposed to be directed at me?
     
  7. Greco

    Greco New Member

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    Well you asked an absurd question you already knew the answer to. The Pfizer case speaks only to the need to undo the lack of regulations created by Republicans. My reply speaks to the broad issue of why a single payer public option is the responsible course to follow.

    Why do you think that's the system adopted by industrialized nations all over the planet? Why do you think not one has ever returned to a mish-mash sytem that's the most expensive in the world like ours?
     
  8. TheFranklinParty

    TheFranklinParty New Member

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    You've got to be kidding. Did you listen to this thing at all. The one woman hasn't seen a doctor in 17 years. Why, has she been living on the streets? This is Southern California...if you can't find a job in let's say 2 years, how about moving from the beautiful beaches to North Dakota or Iowa where they need laborers. How about the woman who is 100lbs over weight complaining about her high blood pressure. As a start, how about losing 50 lbs and see if that helps before looking for the magic pill so you can contour to spend your income on crap food.

    This is the type of one sided journalism that other stations get accused of all the time. Most of the people going through this thing were homeless. All this proves is that California has become a haven for those who want welfare.
     
  9. Greco

    Greco New Member

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    Probably that view helps you justify an uncaring, unconcerned attitude towards others. Finding a few individuals that you can blame for the problem doesn't alter the need for reform, major reform. There's a reason our health care sytem costs more money than any other on the planet, yet we rank only 37th in quality of care.
     
  10. TheFranklinParty

    TheFranklinParty New Member

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    You held them up as your poster children. Come to Buffalo, NY or Cleveland, OH and see people getting by any way they can with far greater unemployment and hardship. How many of the people going through this process were illegal? How about giving these people brooms, mops and garbage bags and let them pick of the litter all over that part of LA while they are waiting for their free service. But they can wait hours sitting...come on.


    I will say again:

    Have you looked at the WHO ranking system. It has very little to do with quality of healthcare and more to do with how closely aligned to socialized medicine your system is. When I looked at the algorithm for the ranking I was stunned at how skewed the weighting system was. There was no clarity or segregation of trauma versus illness related deaths. It also didn't take into account the accuracy of census's and they counted illegal immigrants in some countries and not in others.

    One of the worst pieces of the data collection and interpretation I've ever seen.
     
  11. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Pfizer does not sell health insurance. I question how you take the actions of this company that is not really involved in health insurance, and use that as an example of why we need a public insurance option....

    The question is not absurd.

    As for a "lack of regulations", please point to specifics. There were plenty of regulations in place, otherwise there would be no fine for what they did.

    Many of these countries all admit their systems are going bankrupt. We can reform health care without going bankrupt in the process.
     
  12. Greco

    Greco New Member

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    "Pfizer does not sell health insurance. I question how you take the actions of this company that is not really involved in health insurance, and use that as an example of why we need a public insurance option...."

    You have an established pattern of making up a claim, assigning it to someone, then arguing against it. I DID NOT USE PFIZER AS AN EXAMPLE WHY WE NEED A PUBLIC OPTION. I NEVER MENTIONED IT. YOU'RE THE ONE THAT BROUGHT IT UP

    You asked for a specific example of lack of regulations... "A BIPARTISAN group of senators has asked the Bush administration to restore a federal regulation requires drug firms to test their products for use by children. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, the lawmakers criticize a decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to shelve a 1997 Clinton administration requirement that drugmakers conduct research to determine whether drugs are safe and effective for children." http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb4250/is_200204/ai_n13311277/?tag=content;col1
     
  13. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    Who is saying we don't need reform? Stupid title for a thread.
     
  14. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    Let's summarize:

    A drug company pays doctors to prescribe a drug.
    Then they are brought to court.

    That is the way it is supposed to be. When people do bad stuff they get brought to court.

    We all know the system needs refrom but your example shows that the gov is doing the right thing and that the system is working properly.

    Or are you suggesting that the gov is not bringing bad people to court and that is the reason the system is not working right?
     
  15. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    I did not "make it up." It is Topgun's post, which is why I asked you if you were even responding to me in my initial response to your comment.

    Doesn't the FDA already test all drugs regardless, why make a special case for children?
     
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