Talk Nation Radio for November 9, 2011
Investigative Journalist Kathleen Sharp on her book Blood Feud
Produced by Dori Smith in Storrs, CT
Music by Fritz Heede
Download at Pacifica's Audioport here or at Archive.org
See the book, 'Blood Feud, The Man Who Blew the Whistle on one of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever,' was published by Dutton, Fall, 2011.
Companies like Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Ortho, begin trials using high dose, off-shelf protocols for anemia drug. Whistle blower Mark Duxbury, attorney Jan Schlichtmann, try to stop them and litigate. Revelations about patient deaths, physician pay offs, Medicare and Medicaid fraud investigations, FDA concerns, illegal dose given to man who died.
From the interview: 'There's estimates that Medicaid and Medicare lose something like 100 billion dollars a year to fraud and the prime suspects are pharmaceutical companies and other health care companies'. Kathleen Sharp
From the book: 'I guarantee you once news of this scheme is published, someone will be held accountable.' Mark Duxbury, former salesman at Johnson and Johnson, turned whistle blower.
Investigative journalist Kathleen Sharp joins us to talk about her recent book, 'Blood Feud, The Man Who Blew the Whistle on one of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever'. Kathleen Sharp has written for the New York Times magazine, Parade, Elle, and Fortune, and she has won several awards including the first place prize for investigative reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.
On page 123 of Blood Feud, Kathleen Sharp describes a process where sales teams from the drug company Ortho visited doctors offices to enroll patients in mini-trials and marketing studies. Sales people got to review confidential patient files, and other rules got tossed out the window. The search was on for profits, and finding more off label uses for drugs like Procrit, developed for anemia, would provide vast amounts of income. The doctors involved were getting $550 for every patient enrolled up to five. The problem was it seems Procrit and other drugs like it could kill.