Federal Inspectors Crack Down On Corrupt Drug Company Executives
"Federal inspectors want to prevent drug-company executives from doing business with the U.S. government when their companies are convicted of Medicare fraud," The Washington Post reports. New guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services say "executives can be barred from contracting with federal health programs when they knew, or if the inspector general concludes they should have known, about fraud at their firms." Recent fraud cases against companies like GlaxoSmithKline, ordered to pay a $750 million settlement for selling defective drugs; and Pfizer, which agreed to pay $2.3 billion for fraudulent marketing of medicine, have spurred authorities to crack down on regulation and accountability. "Certain crimes, such as patient abuse or a felony conviction of health-care fraud, require automatic exclusion by law," and "[t]he inspector general has the discretion to bar a person in other cases, such as a misdemeanor conviction." The Food and Drug Administration, "which is part of HHS, has also warned drug companies that it will hold executives accountable for corporate wrongdoing. The FDA can ban executives charged with misdemeanors from working in the pharmaceutical industry" (Edney, 11/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.