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$27.6 million dollars in damages paid over psychiatric drug overprescribing

There has been a growing awareness of the horrible side effects associated with psychiatric drugs. A recent large settlement dealing with the overprescribing of clozapine, a powerful antipsychotic drug, helps to drive this point home. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has agreed to pay more than $27.6 million as a settlement for state and federal allegations that the firm induced Chicago psychiatrist Michael Reinstein to overprescribe clozapine, reported Pro Publica on March 12, 2014.

Pills, pills & more dangerous pills

This is the second time Reinstein has been investigated by ProPublica. ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune investigated Reinstein's prescribing pattern four years ago, finding that in 2007 he had prescribed more clozapine to patients in Medicaid's Illinois program than all of the doctors in the Medicaid programs of Texas, Florida and North Carolina together. It was discovered that at least three of Reinstein's patients died of clozapine intoxication. Yet, Reinstein actually defended his prescription record at that time, with the arguement that clozapine is effective and underprescribed.

Last spring, ProPublica reported that Reinstein had prescribed even more clozapine in Medicare's prescription drug program for seniors and the disabled. ProPublica cited Reinstein in an investigation dealing with how Medicare has not been effectively monitoring psychiatrists who are problem prescribers. Medicare allowed him to continue to prescribe clozapine even after federal prosecutors accused him of fraud and Illinois' Medicaid program suspended payments to him.

Generic clozapine is written up as being an anti-schizophrenia drug which is manufactured by Teva. This drug has been approved to treat cases of schizophrenia which fail to respond to other medications. However, clozapine can have very dangerous side effects, which includes seizures, inflammation of the heart muscle and a drop in white blood cells. This drug is considered to be particularly dangerous for older patients.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the U.S. Justice Department have alleged that IVAX, which is a Teva Pharmaceuticals subsidiary, actually paid Reinstein to overprescribe clozapine to patients on Medicare and Medicaid. Tevas has now agreed to pay about $15.5 million to the federal government and more than $12.1 million to Illinois to make a settlement for those allegations out of court.

Federal prosecutors also filed a lawsuit against Reinstein in November 2012, with allegations that IVAX had paid him $50,000 a year to work as a consultant. That lawsuit also claimed his nurse was paid to promote the drug. Reinstein began overprescribing clozapine after the payments. The firm has also allegedly paid for trips and entertainment for Reinstein and many of his friends.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) has often reported on how dangerous psychiatric drugs are. In fact the CCHR has written psychotropic drugs are increasingly being exposed as being chemical toxins which have the power to kill. Although psychiatrists keep claiming their drugs work, according to their own studies it has been observed that psychotropic drugs can double the risk of suicide. The CCHR also points out that long-term use of psychiatric drugs has been proven again and again to create a lifetime of physical and mental damage, which is a fact dangerously ignored by psychiatrists.

Some of the more common and well-documented side effects of psychiatric drugs have been noted to include mania, psychosis, hallucinations, depersonalization, suicidal ideation, stroke, heart attack, and sudden death. Dr. Fred Baughman Jr., a Pediatric Neurologist, has commented about psychiatrists, "What they do in practice, lying in every instance, abrogating the informed consent right of every patient and poisoning them in the name of treatment is nothing short of criminal.” Baughman is absolutely right, the psychiatrists are all dangerous criminals who really do poison their patients based on nonspecific subjective diagnoses in what they actually insist is treatment.

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