OUTRAGE: Big Pharma Ordered To Pay $70 Million After Concealing Adverse Effects Of Cancer Drugs & Misleading Doctors

Big pharma
Source: NaturalNews.com
Daniel Barker
June 15, 2016

In a case that clearly illustrates the extent of corruption, callousness and greed on the part of Big Pharma’s cancer industry, two drug companies have been ordered to pay nearly $70 million to settle a federal lawsuit over charges that the companies lied about the effectiveness of a cancer drug.

The two companies, Genentech and OSI Pharmaceuticals, agreed to pay $67 million to avoid further litigation over its deceptive marketing of Tarceva, a drug used to treat non-small-cell lung cancer.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“The lawsuit claimed that from 2006 to 2011 Genentech and its marketing partner OSI Pharmaceuticals promoted Tarceva to treat all patients with non-small-cell lung cancer even though studies had shown that it worked for just those who had never smoked or had a certain gene mutation known as EGFR. Epidermal growth factor receptor is a type of protein found on the surface of cells in the body.”

A former Genentech employee, Brian Shields, filed the whistleblower suit in 2011 after his employers refused to acknowledge his concerns regarding the marketing of the ineffective drug. Shields said that he faced retaliation from his superiors after voicing his concerns and was told that he was not a “team player.”

Lies and bribes

Details of the lawsuit reveal the unscrupulous and illegal marketing techniques employed by the drug maker, which almost certainly led to the early deaths of patients who received treatment involving the useless drug.

“The lawsuit said the companies gave their sales representatives promotional materials that discouraged doctors from testing patients for EGFR.

“The companies also promoted Tarceva, the lawsuit said, by giving doctors illegal kickbacks disguised as fees for making speeches or serving on Genentech’s advisory boards.

“Sales representatives across the country were ‘instructed to spend lavishly’ on physicians, the case said, and given ‘an unlimited budget to wine and dine.’

“Genentech also organized lunches or dinners for lung cancer patients where ‘patient ambassadors’ were paid fees to speak about how Tarceva could be used in ways never approved by regulators, the lawsuit said.”

“This is about lives”

Under the terms of the False Claims Act, the federal government will receive $62.6 million of the settlement, State Medicaid programs will get $4.4 million and Shields and his lawyers will share the remaining $10 million.

“This is about lives,” said whistleblower Shields, a former Army helicopter pilot. “”Hopefully this will have a lasting effect and improve cancer care.”

From a Justice Department statement:

“Pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to provide accurate information to patients and health care providers about their prescription drugs. The Department of Justice will hold these companies accountable that mislead the public about the efficacy of the products.”

Unfortunately, drug manufacturers have a history of ignoring their “responsibility” to patients and the healthcare industry – there have been numerous cases of fraudulent marketing, falsified study results and bribery on the part of drug makers.

Profits vs. people

Big Pharma has shown that it will stop at nothing in the pursuit of profits. It’s clear that the “cancer industry” has no interest in curing anyone – human lives and ethics are far less important than dollars to these greedy and soulless criminals.

The profits raked in by Big Pharma are absolutely staggering. It’s important to understand what kind of money we’re actually talking about.

From GlobalResearch.ca:

“Big Pharma’s top eleven corporations generated net profits in just one decade from 2003 to 2012 of nearly three quarters of a trillion dollars – that’s just net profit alone. The net profit for 2012 amongst those top eleven amounted to $85 billion in just that one year.”

If it weren’t for the courage of whistleblowers like Brian Shields, Big Pharma would simply continue its corrupt practices virtually unchecked – after all, the FDA and other regulatory agencies have been bought out by the drug industry and do little to protect the public from the fraudulent marketing of useless and dangerous medications.

If enough people come forward and speak out, as Shields did, we might begin to see changes in the way Big Pharma conducts business – but don’t hold your breath…

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Drug Companies To Pay $67 Million For ‘Exaggerating Claims, Misleading Doctors’

image-Tarceva-for-735-265
Source: NaturalSociety.com
Julie Fidler
June 10, 2016

Two drug companies, Genentech and OSI Pharmaceuticals, have agreed to pay $67 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit accusing them of misleading doctors about the effectiveness of a cancer drug called Tarceva. – By agreeing to the settlement, neither company admitted any guilt.

Federal prosecutors in San Francisco announced the settlement on June 6, 2016.

The whistleblower, Brian Shields, had worked as a Tarceva sales representative, and later as a product manager. He filed the lawsuit in 2011 under the False Claims Act. Shields and his attorneys will receive $10 million of the settlement. The remainder of the settlement will be divided between State Medicaid programs and the federal government.

The former Army helicopter pilot said that when he complained about some Tarceva promotional materials, his supervisors told him he “was not a team player.” [1]

Shields alleged that the company had provided doctors and medical professionals with misleading information about Tarceva. According to a news release received by CNN, the companies had led doctors to believe that the drug would be effective in a broad patient population.

But Genentech and OSI knew there was little evidence to support that claim, and that Tarceva had been shown to be effective only in non-small-cell lung cancer patients who had never smoked, or who had a particular genetic mutation in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is involved with cancer growth. The lawsuit alleged also that the companies’ promotional materials discouraged testing for EGFR mutation.

Additionally, the companies’ marketing materials and communications with doctors from 2006 to 2011 had led physicians to prescribe the drug for newly diagnosed patients, even though the FDA had only approved Tarceva as a second-line treatment. [2]

The companies were also accused in the suit of giving physicians illegal kickbacks disguised as payments for making speeches or for serving on Genentech’s advisory board.

Sales reps nationwide were “instructed to spend lavishly” on doctors, and were given “an unlimited budget to wine and dine.”

Source: Paul Sakuma/Associated Press
Source: Paul Sakuma/Associated Press

An attorney for the whistleblower said:

“Not only does this case involve a cancer drug, but it is [the] first False Claims Act recovery involving allegations of a drug manufacturer making misleading representations about its drug’s survival data.”

Accurate survival data are vital to doctors’ prescribing decisions.

Continue Reading At: NaturalSociety.com