The Times reports on bribes given to health care providers to prescribe their patent protected product. In this case it’s a addicting medication.
Dr. Judson Somerville, a pain specialist in Laredo, Tex., received $67,000 in speaking fees, travel and meals in 2013 to promote a powerful and addictive painkiller called Subsys, according to a new federal database of payments that drug companies make to physicians.
But while Insys Therapeutics, the Arizona company that makes the product, was paying Dr. Somerville to promote it, he was under investigation by the Texas Medical Board. Last December, the board ordered him to stop prescribing painkillers after it found that he had authorized employees to hand out pre-signed prescriptions to patients and after it learned that three of his patients had died in 2012 of drug overdoses, most likely from drugs that he had prescribed.
Read the article and weep!
Medicynical Note: Health care in the U.S. is not systematically provided and the way it is delivered is not a “system” to provide it. Rather what patients received is carefully designed “system” to maximize revenue for providers, hospitals, insurers, technology developers and pharmaceutical manufacturers. The well-being of their stock holders and investors are much more important to them than the well-being of patients.