Friday, November 16, 2012

Chicago doctor accused of taking kickbacks to prescribe clozapine

In 2007 he prescribed various medications to 4,141 Medicaid patients, including more prescriptions for clozapine than were written by all the doctors in Texas put together, Medicaid records show. Records also showed he was getting government reimbursement for seeing an improbably large number of patients.

A federal lawsuit accuses a Chicago psychiatrist of getting illegal kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies and submitting at least 140,000 false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for anti-psychotic medications he prescribed for thousands of mentally ill patients in nursing homes.

Dr. Michael J. Reinstein also submitted at least 50,000 claims to Medicare and Medicaid falsely claiming he had provided “pharmacologic management” for his patients at more than 30 area nursing homes and long-term care facilities, according to the health care fraud lawsuit filed by the U.S. attorney's office.

“This is the largest civil case alleging prescription medication fraud against an individual ever brought in Chicago,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Gary S. Shapiro.

Reinstein was the subject of an investigation by ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune in 2009 that found Reinstein, 69, had compiled a worrisome record of providing assembly-line care with a highly risky drug.

Searching publicly available documents, reporters discovered that Reinstein had been accused of .........................

read the rest here

After reading this article, I have several questions not specifically connected with this particular case: Why are mentally ill people in nursing homes in the first place? Warehoused by their families? Disabled by years of drug use? A special arrangement with Medicare/Medicaid? Are old people considered mentally ill by definition? Is dementia considered a mental illness? And, I can't believe that clozapine, as stated in the article, is taken by 4% of patients. I bet the figure is much higher. Clozapine has been widely touted, since the time of the  CATIE study, at least, as the greatest thing since sliced bread. There are many shameful aspects to this newspaper report. 


  1. How about the fact that Clozapine is listed on the FDA AERS data base as the drug that is number three for fatal outcomes out of all FDA approved drugs?

  2. We live in a dangerous world.

    "Seeing a psychiatrist has become one of the most dangerous things a person can do." - Peter Breggin, M.D.


  3. It doesn't surprise me at all. Which explains why we see these kind of "fad" diagnoses pop up, like ADHD. Suddenly everyone from children to adults have ADHD and should take a specific medication for it... there's unbelievable amounts of money running around behind the scenes.


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