"I said, 'why is it I'm ordering one drug and a totally different drug is being given?'" LaCorte said. "And I was told 'therapeutic interchange.'"
Therapeutic interchange meant the hospital was switching virtually all antacid prescriptions to Pepcid. And it wasn't a meaningless change.
Merck ended up paying $650 million a year to make that drop in the bucket problem whistleblower go away.
The fight took 12 long years, but Merck recently agreed to pay back taxpayers $650 million for deals to get hospitals nationwide to favor not only Pepcid, but also Merck drugs Zocor and Vioxx.
Then it's back to business as usual: an utterly corrupt medical community that's married to an utterly corrupt pharmaceutical industry continues destroying what's left of America's public health system.
The relationship between drugs companies and physicians is also vulnerable to corruption. Doctors may be offered commissions for prescribing a particular drug or a drug from a particular company. Because this practice is illegal in most countries, companies may employ underhand methods to disguise such kickbacks. The aggressive promotion of medicines, the sheer volume of information that is received in its many forms by prescribers and the use of patient groups through which to generate demand for prescription drugs, all contribute to the inappropriate prescription of medicines. In the United States some US$ 16 billion is spent annually by pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology industries on marketing to physicians.
One day all the crooks who are enabled by corrupt Washington DC pols will ALL face their day of reckoning. One day.