Now we know what “baby leads” are.
The New York attorney general joined a whistleblower lawsuit accusing an AstraZeneca unit of defrauding Medicaid by obtaining confidential data on infants in order to boost sales of a key medicine.
From 2007 through 2011, the lawsuit alleges that the MedImmune unit worked closely with a specialty pharmacy called Trinity Homecare to generate prescriptions for Synagis, which is given to premature infants to protect them from contracting a severe respiratory virus known as RSV. At the time, Trinity actively dealt with many New York City public hospitals, where infants were insured by Medicaid.
As a writer in the field of substance abuse and treatment for over 20 years I have watched state and federal litigation against pharma for assorted offences continue to escalate, some fines now in the $billions. It really is true that some pharmaceutical industry players consider criminal behavior a normal mode of business and the fines levied when they’re caught just a normal business expense. This will probably never change until the feds and states can actually send offenders to jail where they belong, where similar offenders in any other industry would be sent. The recent Mallinckrodt debacle shows how toothless some of our laws can be. One wonders if it will get even worse under the new federal administration.
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