Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

December 17, 2013

Shocking

I am sitting in the dentist office waiting to be called for my procedure. The waiting room has several magazines and newspapers lying on the tables. One article catches my attention in a St. Louis paper. The article byline only states Associated Press.

In large headlines, “Drug maker fined $2.2 billion over marketing, kickbacks.” I found it hard to believe that Johnson and Johnson had agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion (yes the article stated billion with a lot of zero’s) to resolve criminal and civil allegations that the company promoted powerful psychiatric drugs for unapproved uses in children, seniors and disabled patients. This is reported to be the third-largest settlement with a drug maker in U.S. history.

It was alleged that they used illegal marketing and kickbacks to increase sales of certain drugs by persuading physicians and pharmacists to prescribe drugs by pushing medicines for unapproved, or “off-label” uses.

They reportedly agreed in a plea agreement by a J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical to admit to promoting Riseperdal as a way to control erratic behavior in seniors with dementia; a drug explicitly barred today because it can increase the risk of stroke and death in elderly patients. They agreed to plead guilty to violating drug marketing laws according to the article.

I had just finished reading an article sent to me about folks bending the rules and bordering on being illegal because they could not afford medicine that they desperately need.

The article started with a woman being denied a shipment of a necessary drug because it came from Canada. She had been getting her medicine from there for several years because her supply cost $100 from Canada and $1,000 in the United States. She received a letter that her shipment had been impounded because it was illegal to ship into the United States.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Take a lesson from Texas I like to eat at blue-collar diners and cafes, particularly when I’m on vacation.It’s a chance to step beyond the homogenized national chains and experience a bit of local flavor.And being a reporter, I like to chat up local folks to find out a bit a

    July 23, 2014

  • The future reality of terrorist drones A very small airplane rose over the Gaza Strip last week. It entered Israeli airspace and sped toward the coastal city of Ashdod. Then a Patriot missile blew it up.The plane, a rudimentary drone launched by the terrorist group Hamas, posed little thr

    July 23, 2014

  • We are headed to a jobless future In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers revived a debate I’d had with futurist Ray Kurzweil in 2012 about the jobless future.He echoed the words of Peter Diamandis, who says that we are moving from a history

    July 23, 2014

  • Pensions need to be addressed I will have to admit that I am slightly overwhelmed today with the receipt of articles and suggestions for a column. One of my Fitness Mafia colleagues constantly tells me the columns are too long and trying to address different subjects just dilutes

    July 22, 2014

  • VA still failing our vets Jymm’s preferred attire is a skin-tight Minnie Mouse T-shirt with bright pink windbreaker pants. Even when not sporting his choice outfit, he dons short shorts and shirts with holes in them, because that’s what he finds most comfortable. His Santa Mo

    July 22, 2014

  • Feed your home piggy bank with a 15-year mortgage This summer, we finally decided to take the plunge we’d been contemplating for a while: converting our 30-year mortgage to one with a 15-year payoff. It’s a big step. Our payments will go up somewhat (the PITI — principal, interest, tax, and insuranc

    July 19, 2014

  • Under the dumb There is a TV series about an entire town trapped under a giant, mysterious crystal-clear dome that appears out of the blue one day. The dome is impenetrable; no one can get in, no one can get out. Who made the dome? Aliens? God? A super-secret branc

    July 19, 2014

  • Widening the loopholes This week, two more U.S. companies moved to reestablish themselves overseas, allowing them to pursue lower corporate tax rates. They will join dozens of others who have chased lower tax bills abroad while maintaining operations in the United States,

    July 19, 2014

  • Patriotism not questioned Editor:I am responding to Mayor Mary Jane Chesley’s Reader’s View article in the Thursday, June 19, 2014, Register-News “Patriotism is strong.”The mayor has missed the point of my Reader’s View/opinion article in the local newspapers regarding Flag D

    July 19, 2014

  • Who's telling a story now? For this administration, failure is always the result of a “communications” problem. Otherwise, failure might be taken as evidence of misguided ideology and incompetent execution, right? It’s a weird excuse for the president who fancies himself to be

    July 18, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks