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Italian MDs in Kickback Scandal

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posted on May, 10 2006 @ 03:42 PM
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There's been a lot of talk on here regarding how different things are in the medical profession in Italy vs. the US. I thought this was an interesting article that brought things into a more realistic perspective. No matter how different things may seem on the surface, many times, they are not truly so different.



A two-year investigation by the financial brigade found that the Italian subsidiary of Glaxo had mounted an illegal incentives scheme involving 4,713 people, including 4,440 doctors. Over 100 Glaxo employees, including top-level managers, are also accused of corruption or criminal association, a financial brigade official told a press conference. Freebies doled out to doctors across Italy included all-expenses-paid travel, cash or free pharmaceutical drugs, the police found.

The financial investigators, led by Guido Papalia, head prosecutor in the northern city of Verona, found evidence of kickback practices across Italy. ... [Glaxo] is not alone among drugs giants under scrutiny for alleged illegal incentives schemes in Italy. Several others have been accused by media for creating mock scientific conferences in the Caribbean in order to bequeath free luxury trips upon accommodating doctors.

source: atheism.about.com...


This investigation alone involves 4,440 doctors in Italy. Corruption in the medical profession exists EVERYWHERE!



...these Italian doctors violated the most basic principles of medical ethics by putting themselves and the interests of pharmaceutical companies ahead of the interests and health of their patients.


Medical ethics seems to be an oxymoron....




posted on May, 10 2006 @ 07:01 PM
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It's interesting that this news story can't be found on any other major news site, Italian or American. There's no mention of the medical institutions, fields that were corrupted, products being given, prescriptions being influenced. Interesting.

I'm not saying this didn't happen, of course it did. It was several years ago, I was still an undergraduate. It's neat, though, how people will edit news stories. Excitable mentions in the article he cites that it "involved 4,400" doctors. False. 2,900 doctors were INVESTIGATED by the Polizia and Carabineiri. Of those investigated, 37 Glaxo employees and 35 doctors were idicted for corruption. Considering the size of the medical community here in Italy, I think 35 is a pretty decent number, no?

Source

~Mariella



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 06:53 AM
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I'm not saying this didn't happen, of course it did. It was several years ago, I was still an undergraduate. It's neat, though, how people will edit news stories. Excitable mentions in the article he cites that it "involved 4,400" doctors. False. 2,900 doctors were INVESTIGATED by the Polizia and Carabineiri. Of those investigated, 37 Glaxo employees and 35 doctors were idicted for corruption. Considering the size of the medical community here in Italy, I think 35 is a pretty decent number, no?


It was 2 years ago and more than one source mentions 4,400 doctors....not 35. Also $278 million in bribes. If only 35 doctors got $278 million in bribes, I'm in the wrong profession!



On May 26, Italy's finance police ended a two year investigation of GlaxoSMithKline leading to criminal charges against the company and of 4,440 doctors, including more than 2,500 GPs and 1,700 specialists. It is reported that GSK spent $278 million in bribes whose purpose was to influence the doctors' prescribing. The practice, according to British analysts, is common in the pharmaceutical industry. The doctors have been criminally indicted and could face jail sentences. According to the suit "Glaxo employees in Italy in question had offered cash, gifts and prizes to doctors and other healthcare professionals to encourage them to prescribe Glaxo drugs."

source: www.ahrp.org...


other sources:
www.guardian.co.uk...

A similar scandal in 1992:
medicine.plosjournals.org.../journal.pmed.0030189




[edit on 11-5-2006 by Excitable_Boy]


Dae

posted on May, 11 2006 @ 07:43 AM
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It will be interesting to see how this all pans out. Any updates on the charges?

Take heart Mariella, you should be proud that this has happened in Italy and hope that this could be the start in exposing Corporate corruption in the medical field.

The Guardian article dated 2004 also said:

But a British-based pharmaceuticals analyst said yesterday the type of activity the Italian authorities allege to have uncovered is common practice among global drug companies.

"In parts of Europe, these things are absolutely rife," he said. "For example, doctors may be given 'research grants' - but there are no limits on how they can spend them." He cited cases in which doctors had been offered cars or holidays as inducements to prescribe a particular brand.


[rant]I believe we must stop corruption in the food and medical industry as soon as humanly possible but the corruption is found eveywhere! So lets cut it off at its source, lets let go of Profits and start having meaningful lives. The act of making profits from human needs and desires is sicking in itself but noooo, lets go further, lets not only Profit but kill, main and destroy as well![/rant]



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 04:56 PM
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Thank you for the source bsl....this is a good quote from it:



The only reports on this massive scandal were in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) (1) and the Guardian (2).

source:mondediplo.com...


I like th use of the term "massive scandal." It seems you attempted to downplay the whole thing.

Also you said:



It's interesting that this news story can't be found on any other major news site


I think the British Medical Journal and the Guardian are pretty legitimate sites for medical news...no? It's hard to swallow corruption within ones own profession and right in ones own back yard to boot. I guess we in the United States are used to corruption.....and therefore, not in denial of it.

Also read some of my sources. There is plenty of information on the gifts given, drugs prescribed to get gifts...etc. Nasty business. The whole planet is corrupted!!

[edit on 11-5-2006 by Excitable_Boy]



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 05:28 PM
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Originally posted by Excitable_Boy
Thank you for the source bsl....this is a good quote from it:



The only reports on this massive scandal were in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) (1) and the Guardian (2).

source:mondediplo.com...


I like th use of the term "massive scandal." It seems you attempted to downplay the whole thing.


I never attempted to downplay the scandal. I simply pointed out that of the 4,173, very few were doctors, according to the source I cited.




I think the British Medical Journal and the Guardian are pretty legitimate sites for medical news...no?


That's funny, a while ago when I cited three a studies from the BMJ that went against your "opinion", you said they were funded by phara and were useless sources. So, now you bend reality to your will depending on what sources you want to use?

A lot of this "corruption" is being billed as such due to the difference in the medical systems between here and America. In Italy, you people have drug reps. They can give meals, trips, etc., and it's common place. In Italy, that is billed as corruption. Often, the doctor is already using the drug, or it truly is the best drug on the market. I don't see any problem with a doctor using the statistically better drug, and getting a side benefit. Obviously, if a doctor is prescribing a more expensive or less effective treatment due to benefits from the company, that is flat out wrong. If the patient is receiving a cost effective (most drugs used in Italy are generics), beneficial treatment, but the doctor also was treated to a dinner a month before by that company, what is the problem?

Excitable, I can't help but wonder why you suddenly care about a two year old news report, other than the fact that you have had disagreements with me and this story happens to take place in Italy? It's truly a compliment to me that I occupy that much of your time that you would do research specifically just to try to get under my skin.

Ciao bello =)

Mariella



posted on May, 13 2006 @ 09:31 AM
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Excitable, I can't help but wonder why you suddenly care about a two year old news report, other than the fact that you have had disagreements with me and this story happens to take place in Italy? It's truly a compliment to me that I occupy that much of your time that you would do research specifically just to try to get under my skin.


Don't flatter yourself. I was just trying to give you a bit a of a reality check. You constantly talk about how doctors in Italy are different. When it comes right down to it, doctors everywhere are all the same. If doctors in Italy make much less money on average than doctors in America, then the doctors in Italy are probably more likely to be tempted by drug companies to take kickbacks. This story, no matter how old, is proof of that.....

Take it at face value.....



posted on May, 13 2006 @ 10:02 AM
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Of course Italian doctors are corrupt!

They all work FOR the same drug companies. They aren't called multinationals cuz it just sounds good.


The corruption tapestry is enormous and basically smothers the entire planet. From birth to death. From the food that people are 'sold' into consuming, to the 'medicine' to alleviate the inevitable 'diseases' coming from such polluted and insane diets.

Do any of you guys think it's an accident that the folks who sell cigarettes, there's a fine product, have broadened their corporate marketing to foodstuffs. It's kind of a cynical view of humanity, but it's expensive to keep those corporate jets flying.


It's ALL about profits and we're just the grease that keeps this corporate juggernauts smoothly gliding across the face of this little blue planet.



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