UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 14, 2009

HEALTH CZAR IS WALKING CONFLICT OF INTEREST

According to the Washington Post, Obama's healthcare czar, Nancy-Ann DeParle "has thrived in the private sector, first at J.P. Morgan Partners and then at a private-equity spinoff, CCMP Capital. She earned more than $2 million in the past two years on corporate boards such as DaVita, Boston Scientific, Cerner and Medco Health Solutions, according to public records. Her financial disclosure form is pending."

You don't get a much better conflict of interest that this. Here is are the Wikipedia summaries of her corporate connections:

Medco provides pharmacy services for private and public employers, health plans, labor unions and government agencies of all sizes, and for individuals served by Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. Through its Medco Therapeutic Resource Centers and the Accredo Health Group, Medco's Specialty Pharmacy, the company provides services for the care of patients with chronic and complex conditions. Medco is a leader in the emerging field of personalized medicine and in applying evidence-based protocols to elevate the practice of pharmacy - a key element in reforming America's health care system. Medco is ranked number 51 on the Fortune 500 list, with 2008 revenues of more than $51 billion.

Medco became an independent in August 2003. As a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc, the company was known as Merck-Medco Managed Care. . .

Medco's mail-order business, which generated $22 billion in 2008 net revenues, is one of the largest pharmacy operations in the United States. Medco managed 586 million prescriptions in 2008, including 105.8 million prescriptions dispensed at its mail-order pharmacies - significantly more than the number of prescriptions dispensed by the mail-order operations of its two largest PBM competitors. Medco operates nine mail-order pharmacies and six call center pharmacies, and it partners with a nationwide network of approximately 60,000 retail pharmacies. Medco's automated pharmacies located in Las Vegas and Willingboro, NJ, together have the capacity to fill more than 2 million prescriptions per week. Medco commenced construction of a third, next-generation automated dispensing pharmacy in Whitestown, Indiana, which is expected to be operational by late 2009. Medco holds 27 U.S. patents for patient data management, front-end pharmacy technology and automated pharmacy technology.

In 2004 Medco settled a lawsuit brought by 20 states alleging that they failed to disclose incentives they received from drug companies and improperly switched or pressured doctors to switch patient's medication in pursuit of profit.
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In 2004 Medco settled a lawsuit brought by 20 states alleging that they failed to disclose incentives they received from drug companies and improperly switched or pressured doctors to switch patient's medication in pursuit of profit.

In 2005 Medco acquired Accredo Health for $2.2 billion, a large specialty pharmaceutical operation, including a division that Accredo Health purchased from Gentiva Health Services in 2002.

Cerner Corporation is an international IT corporation in the healthcare industry with more than 7,800 employees. . . Cerner has more than 6,000 clients worldwide

The Boston Scientific Corporation is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices whose products are used in a range of interventional medical specialties, including interventional cardiology, peripheral interventions, neuromodulation, neurovascular intervention, electrophysiology, cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, endoscopy, oncology, urology and gynecology.

Boston Scientific's main competitors are Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, and St. Jude Medical. The company recently acquired longtime competitor Guidant for approximately $27 billion. The former Guidant was split between BSC and Abbott Laboratories.

DaVita is one of the largest kidney care companies in the United States. Their offerings include in-center hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, home hemodialysis, vascular access management, chronic kidney disease education, and renal diet assistance.

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