Two nurses fired for reporting doctor’s inappropriate actions

This has bizarre backwoods good ol’ boy written all over it, no offense to good ol’ boys: two American nurses, Vicki Galle and Anne Mitchell who, until they were fired in June, had been employed by the Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Kermit, West Texas for over 20 years.  The two nurses not only lost their jobs at the small hospital, they are now facing criminal charges of misuse of official information, which, under the truly frightening Texas Penal Code,  is a third-degree felony with a penalty of 2-10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. * see updates below

What evil did Vicki and Anne perpetrate to merit this fate?  On April 7th, 2009 they reported to the Texas Medical Board their concerns about Dr. Rolando Arafiles, one of three physicians on contract with the hospital. Arafiles, they claimed, was improperly encouraging patients to buy his own herbal “medicines”, among other concerns.

Arafiles in return filed a harassment complaint with the county sheriff’s department against the nurses. The subsequent criminal charges of misuse of official information claim that the nurses “sent patient files to the state medical board in an attempt to ‘harm, harass or annoy’ one of the hospital’s physicians”. The files included the medical record numbers of the patients affected, although no patient names were disclosed.     Continue reading

Drug Rep Confidential

Watch this revealing 4-minute interview with pharmaceutical company sales reps, courtesy of Pharmed Out, an “independent, publicly funded project that empowers physicians to identify and counter inappropriate pharmaceutical promotion practices”.  The voices have been distorted to protect the identities of the two drug reps chatting about what happens when they visit your doctor.

From rewarding heavy prescribers to off-label marketing (promoting a drug for conditions it has not been legally approved to safely treat), these two men offer an eye-opening yet disturbing take on ‘detailing‘ – what goes on behind closed doors.   Continue reading

How a British university sold out to a drug company

sheffield 1

A few years ago, Sheffield University in the U.K. offered over $250,000 to one of its senior medical professors if he would agree to stop criticizing the drug company that was giving research money to the university’s medical school.

For several years, bone metabolism specialist Dr. Aubrey Blumsohn had been complaining to his university about scientific misconduct around a contract between Sheffield and the U.S.-based drug company, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals. Blumsohn claimed that the company had denied him access to his own key research data on the P&G drug Actonel, and then tried to ghostwrite his analysis of it for publication.   Continue reading