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Exclusive: Glaxo whistleblower goes public with shocking details of bribery, marketing fraud and other pharma crimes

(NaturalNews) GlaxoSmithKline employee and whistleblower Blair Hamrick has helped make medical history. Together with his colleague Gregory Thorpe, Blair blew the whistle on criminal practices taking place inside GlaxoSmithKline which have now led to the largest criminal admission and financial settlement in the history of western medicine. GSK is paying a $3 billion fine while pleading guilty to felony crimes.

These allegations are vast and disturbing. They include:

From 1997 to the present and continuing, GSK's marketing plan, devised at a senior executive level, has been to "Exploit the Bolus" of government-funded healthcare programs such as Medicaid and Tricare, with the direct and intended effect of causing the submission of false claims to such programs as identified herein.

GSK has illegally and fraudulently promoted and marketed the sale of its drugs for off label, non-medically accepted uses... As part of this scheme, GSK overtly and aggressively targeted physicians identified by GSK's prescription tracking methods to have the largest volumes of patients enrolled in government-funded healthcare programs such as Medicaid and Tricare.

GSK has paid illegal remuneration (i.e. kickbacks) to physicians and other health care providers with the purpose and intent of inducing those physicians and healthcare providers to prescribe GSK drugs in return in violation of the federal Anti-Kickback law and the analogous anti-kickback laws of the Plaintiff States.

The following are all quotes from Blair Hamrick, as found in this Health Ranger Report interview with Mike Adams.

How it all began:

It started out, we were discussing where the company was going and how the company had taken a turn asking us to do unethical and illegal things. Selling drugs off label. Selling drugs to children that the drug says specifically in its package insert this drug is not indicated for children under 18, but they were asking us specifically to sell it to children.

Being trained to sell drugs off label:

When we would have regional meetings, we would train on how to sell off label. How to find niche products for instance, like Wellbutrin, it was indicated for depression, but then apparently they were not satisfied with the amount of money they were making, so they started pushing it for weight loss, for pediatrics, for sexual dysfunction. You've probably heard the quote, this catch phrase went around to doctors you could only see for a brief second. Hey doc, remember Wellbutrin is the happy horny skinny drug. These are catch phrases that drills the name of the drug in the back of the doctor's mind, and they get duped into writing prescriptions for a product that may not be appropriate.

When a company actively markets a drug that is not indicated for a specific disease state, that is a violation of the law. ...And it's commonplace.

About spinning side effects:

With those studies, you're trained to focus on how well it works, but don't focus on the side effects so much. You don't really want to bring that one up. If they ask the questions, then you can address it, but let's spin it in a very positive manner.

[We would say] well, doctor, the insomnia [side effect] is transient. So it's only a problem for the first couple of days. Once your patients acclimate to the drug, the insomnia will fade away. So it's a spin machine.

For instance the drug Advair for asthma. They came out with the S.M.A.R.T. data, showed an increase incidence of death in African American people. So the study was stopped, they had black box warnings in the package insert, we were trained to tell the doctors well, doctor, you know most people of lower socioeconomic conditions are not compliant with their medications, so with Advair you don't have to worry about your patients not taking their inhaled corticosteroid because Advair is a combination of an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta-agonist. So it's always a spin, so they were basically, according to our complaint, taking a very negative dangerous outcome of a drug [study] and trying to spin it as positive.

About corporate responsibility for products that harm consumers:

When you look at a drug like Wellbutrin, and it has a 0.1% incidence of seizure, that's one in a thousand, but if you're that one person that has a seizure, it's 100 percent [for you]. Where [we] drew the line is realizing that if a child has a seizure, who's responsible? Is it the doctor? Is it me? Is it the company? Where does the buck stop? And unfortunately in the corporate world, there are so many veils of protection that... they're a corporate defendant which is nothing more than a table full of attorneys, and nobody pays the price.

It's offensive. In my opinion, they have no regard whatsoever for precious human life. ...But I have suffered nothing compared to a parent whose child has committed suicide on Paxil. Imagine how horrifying that is. It's so repulsive. You're just talking about a bad company run by bad people, in my opinion.

About holding drug company CEOs criminally responsible for their acts:

When will the public be outraged and say enough is enough? Because this kind of behavior will continue until somebody goes to prison. They're hurting our children. It's offensive, it's immoral, it's unethical, and for a company to have the slogan of letting people do more, and live longer and do better, and then hide behind that slogan [while] you're telling your sales reps to sell off-label to children... how evil does it get? It just doesn't get any more evil than that.

Illegal kickbacks and the bribery of doctors

I was promoted when I was with Glaxo, after about two years with Glaxo, to a specialty position, I was called a therapeutic area specialist. So one of my jobs was to recruit local speakers, to become trained on the drugs to go and speak to other physicians. You're taking them down the primrose path of payoffs.

First, they have to start writing the drug, and if they're not writing the drug enough, you have to get on them about that, then when they do a speaking program at $2,000 for 30 minutes -- anywhere from $500 to $2500 for a half-hour talk -- then if the message they are sending is not exactly the way you want it to go, then you coach the doctor about here's our marketing message, this is the point we want to get out to other physicians... so yes, I saw it firsthand.

I even had doctors who, when I walked into their office and they found out I was the therapeutic area specialist, they were like hey, can you set me up with the speaking program? Because it's extra money. There are even doctors out there, they make so much money on the speaking tours, they start hiring nurse practitioners or other doctors to see their patients, and they may only go into the office two or three times a month. Because they're out speaking. It's so lucrative. ...[they can make] $6,000 in one day to do three half-hour presentations. ...And most of the slide shows come from the company marketing departments.

At the time I left Glaxo, they had over 40,000 speakers on their speakers' bureau.

According to court documents, GlaxoSmithKline had actually developed a network of "speakers" (i.e. primarily doctors receiving kickbacks for writing prescriptions) totaling 49,000

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036499_Glaxo_whistleblower_briber...

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LittleWing's picture

How Big Banks Manipulate and Influence Your Health

Surprising Links: How Big Banks Manipulate and Influence Your Health

Video Interview and transcript By Dr. Mercola

Ellen Brown is a civil litigation attorney who has written 11 books on health and the politics of health, including the Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System (which focuses on the money and banking system itself), and Forbidden Medicine, which traces the suppression of natural health treatment back to the corrupting influences of our financial system.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/07/1...

If Wars Can Be Started by Lies, They Can Be Stopped By Truth.

LittleWing's picture

Where the Federal Reserve Fits in

The Links Between Big Banks and the Drug Industry

Two good primers if you want to learn more about the banking system and the link between the pharmaceutical industry and banking, are The Creature from Jekyll Island, and World Without Cancer.

To me, this link between banking and Big Pharma intuitively makes sense. It was just earlier this year that I came to appreciate what Brown is talking about here. While the focus of this web site is on the damage done by the drug companies, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that the banking system is the behemoth backing the Goliath-like drug industry.

As explained by Brown, the drug connection goes back to the 19th century. John D. Rockefeller’s father was actually, literally, a snake-oil salesman.
“He was a patent remedy seller. The drugs, of course, are oil-based, and John D. Rockefeller was an oil magnate. He also had a bank. So did J.P. Morgan. The drug industry—the patent remedy industry—was in competition with the natural herbal remedies, and the homeopathic remedies. And the way they prevailed in the whole system was that, first of all, they funded the American Medical Association—the AMA Journal, which got their funding from advertising. And if your drug was advertised in the AMA Journal, then you’ve got the AMA’s seal of endorsement... It was a cartel.”

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/07/1...

If Wars Can Be Started by Lies, They Can Be Stopped By Truth.

It does make sense.

Thank you for sharing this information. Once again, the 1% are shown to be at the root of the evil. The soft underbelly of the beast...

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"
- Howard Beale

Is your doctor accepting bribes from Big Pharma?

If your doctor prescribes you any brand-name drugs or recommends you take vaccines, a red flag should immediately go up in your mind: Is your doctor accepting bribes from Big Pharma?

They won't tell you, of course, because they routinely do not disclose this information to patients. There is a place where you can get some of this information, however: It's called ProPublica.

Under their "Dollars for Docs" section (http://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/), ProPublica reveals the payments doctors have received from drug companies. There, you can check total kickbacks and doctor bribes by state, by company, or even by your doctor's name.

For example, this page reveals that Cleveland Clinic received $3 million from Pfizer recently:
http://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/payments?order=amount

It also shows that nearly half a million dollars was paid to the University of Utah from Pfizer.

This page shows that in 2010, Eli Lilly paid over $61 million in "speaking fees" to its network of doctors and physicians:
http://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/companies/eli-lilly

This is a company that admitted to illegal off-label promotion of Zyprexa and paid a $1.4 billion fine to settle criminal and civil charges. (Is there ANY drug company that hasn't been caught engaged in criminal acts?)

This story isn't over. Watch for more investigative reporting on Big Pharma bribery, brought to you by NaturalNews.com, the most talked-about source of independent health news on the internet. (With no ties to drug companies, obviously.)

Oh, and by the way, the pharmaceutical industry hires entire P.R. agencies to conduct social media trolling operations using a complex network of falsified accounts on Facebook, YouTube and other sites. So any negative comments you might see about this story -- or any story exposing Big Pharma fraud -- is probably being posted by a cowardly shill getting paid by the drug companies to desperately try to disrupt the truth movement that's exposing their crimes. Watch for that, as they're easy to spot.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036510_doctors_bribes_drug_compan...

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"
- Howard Beale

almost every doctor accepts

almost every doctor accepts bribes from the pharmaceutical industry in some form or fashion. drug reps visit the clinic my mother works for and treats the entire clinic to breakfast and/or lunch, gives them samples boxes of the meds, then the doctor prescribes them and becomes their token MD.

in order to stop this, drug patenting must end. in other parts of the world with no intellectual property for meds, chemists and pharmacies act as one business and will make your drug for you on the spot(even without a prescription....no prescription laws)and the price is at least 10 times less... a much more decentralized and accountable process.

I like

the way you think, annica2. Intellectual property rights for meds leads to profiteering, pure and simple.

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"
- Howard Beale

A 3 billion dollar fine

for a company that made a 133 billion dollar profit, is a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket, and not even a deterrent.
These snake oil sales men should be fined 100 billion dollars...enough to make their eyes water for years to come.

Going after Big Pharma may not be enough.

Maybe we should also go after the complacent doctors who are accepting their bribes.

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"
- Howard Beale

Fines mean nothing

They'd just pass the cost on to consumers or find other ways to absorb the cost unless it was really of the extent you said - which is unlikely. This will only stop once CEO's are (again) held personally accountable for the consequences.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

On top of that,

the "fines" get paid to the gov't, which will misuse the money to harm the people even further.

The victims of the abuses never see a penny of the "fines".

What exactly is shocking here?

this has been ongoing for decades, in collusion with the government.

Nothing new here. And the whistleblowers will get about 25% of the settlement. Nice piece of change for...what? Telling us what we already know?

Most doctors have always been shills for the pharmaceutical companies. People demand drugs and they get them. Welcome to the American "health" care system. One of the noxious side effects of a third-party payor insurance system and the welfare mentality. Everyone wants everything as long as someone else pays for it. And Obamacare will just make it worse.

Interesting that you say

Interesting that you say this is "in collusion with the government". Although what you say is true on the level of giant corporate influences, in so far as they relate to lobbyists, payoffs, bailouts, and subsidies, as stated so eloquently below; it's not quite that simple. When you consider that VA doctors (those on the payroll of the Veterans Administration) have NOT become shills for the pharmaceutical companies, your blanket statement becomes a gross over simplification of the truth.

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"
- Howard Beale

Try actually reading my post - there is no

"gross over simplification [sic] of the truth."

Your "truth" as you see it. That doesn't make it fact. The VA doctors are some of the most unqualified practitioners anywhere. The VA medical system is so poorly run and so corrupt it is scandalous. The waste of billions of dollars to perpetuate this system is a travesty. The fish rots from the head down.

And since when don't veterans groups have lobbyists? All special interest groups have lobbyists. And they are all looking for the same thing: your money.

Why don't you try

actually reading my post. I said that VA doctors are not shills for Big Pharma. Have you ANY proof that is a false statement?

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"
- Howard Beale

I did. Have you any proof that it is a true statement?

Let's see it.

ok

The VA Administration is the most effective medical service in the country. Ten years ago, veterans hospitals were dangerous, dirty, and scandal-ridden. Today, they're producing the highest quality care in the country. Their turnaround points the way toward solving America's health-care crisis. When it comes to health care, it's a government bureaucracy that's setting the standard for maintaining best practices while reducing costs, and it's the private sector that's lagging in quality. That unexpected reality needs examining if we're to have any hope of understanding what's wrong with America's health-care system and how to fix it. It turns out that precisely because the VHA is a big, government-run system that has nearly a lifetime relationship with its patients, it has incentives for investing in quality and keeping its patients well—incentives that are lacking in for-profit medicine.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2005/0501.longman....

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"
- Howard Beale

This is funny...you cite someone who wants to convert

the entire US healthcare system into the VA healthcare system model. I think we have been calling that Obamacare/Romneycare. Health care through central planning...wow, what a concept.

And at a $47 Billion budget. And with 279,792 employees. And rising.

You still have not provided evidence that VA doctors are not shills.

pfft

As the health-care crisis worsens, and as more become aware of how dangerous and unscientific most of the U.S. health-care system is, maybe we will find a way to get our minds around these strange truths. Many Americans still believe that the U.S. health-care system is the best in the world, and that its only major problems are that it costs too much and leaves too many people uninsured. But the fact remains that Americans live shorter lives, with more disabilities, than people in countries that spend barely half as much per person on health care. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2007/0710.longman....
Pouring more money into the current system won't change that. Nor will making the current system even more fragmented and driven by short-term profit motives. But learning from the lesson offered by the veterans health system could point the way to an all-American solution.

Read Longman's 2007 follow-up article, "Best Care Everywhere" (Washington Monthly, October 2007).

I said that VA doctors are not shills for Big Pharma. Again I ask you, have you ANY proof that is a false statement?

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"
- Howard Beale

Tautology...look it up.

USA - one big HMO.

SteveMT's picture

Blair Hamrick is being interviewed now by The Health Ranger....

Mike Adams on Alex Jones. The program repeats every three hours.

http://www.infowars.com/infowars.asx

"Mike also talks with Blair Hamrick, a big pharm whistleblower who has blown the lid off the bribery of physicians, the push for off-label marketing of drugs for unapproved health conditions, and the illegal marketing of drugs to children by GlaxoSmithKline."

The pharma house of cards is falling

Thanks, Maddy. When it comes to discussions on agribusiness or big pharma, there are always disagreements here at the DP - with so many defenders of these giant corporations - some on a belief in "the free-market system" (as if we genuinely had such a system, influenced on the one side by regulations, on the other by lobbyists, payoffs, bailouts, and subsidies - not just "consumer demand"), but also on the basis of "rights," namely, human rights. I got down-voted when someone asked if I actually meant that he shouldn't have the same rights as a citizen and as an owner of two corporations, and I responded, "That's correct." There and elsewhere I've posted the article below re corporations and what was intended during the founding era. Your post points to a key issue - holding CEO's criminally responsible for their actions. WE, regular old U.S. citizens, are personally liable for our actions; CORPORATIONS protect individuals from personal liability. It's allowing them to get away with murder, literally. But that's not how it used to be. We have to get back to our roots here, too.
http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_accountability/his...

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Thank you, and I agree wholeheartedly.

I believe that giant corporations are at the root of the evil that plagues our society these days. I'll be happy to see all of their card houses fall down and blow away.

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"
- Howard Beale

This is normal

"business practice" for all the big drug companies, but it is good to get it from the horses mouth via a whistleblower.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Yeah, I know.

I just can't wait until the complacent doctors have to sit on the same hot seat.

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"
- Howard Beale