Merck Minimizes Accusations It Swindled the U.S. Government

Prescription pillsThe pharmaceutical company Merck agreed to a $650 million settlement to escape charges that it routinely overbilled the U.S. government for medicines. The government accused Merck of giving or selling pills to hospitals at low or no cost to hook poor patients on expensive medicine, so that when the patients were discharged, they would continue taking the drugs with the government footing the bills. A spokesman for the group Taxpayers Against Fraud said the situation was "heroin-dealer economics ... your first shot is for free, and after that it becomes more expensive ... not to the hospital, but to Medicaid, which is paying the bill." A press release about the settlement on Merck's Web site minimized the gravity of the charges, saying the settlement was "related to disputes over the proper calculation of Medicaid rebates" and "certain past sales and marketing activities that ended in 2001."


I find this fascinating. Last week, some nut legislator in Mississippi(W. something Mayhall) introduced a bill prohibiting restaurants from serving anyone the state deemed "obese." He wanted to start a dialogue about the costs of obesity to medicaid. Of course it was a ridiculous bill with no chance of passing. Not to mention medicaid patients aren't the one going to restaurants. I keep telling people, OVER and OVER again, the most effective con men create distractions. It is not enough to lie and cover your tracks; to be really good, blind folks with their own vulnerability so they will never even look in your direction. Any coincidence this bozo was a former sales person for Dupont-Merc????