News emerged today that Rep. Tom Price, Trumps’ pick for HHS Secretary, bought shares in Zimmer Biomet in March 2016 a few days before he introduced legislation beneficial to the company.

Wondering what other Big Pharma ties Rep. Price, also an orthopedic surgeon, might have I plugged him in to Pro Publica’s Dollars for Doctors. I got a hit for Dr. Thomas Price from Rosewell, GA.

Thinking it couldn’t be I checked to make sure there isn’t another Dr. Thomas Price from Rosewell, Georgia, but according to the Georgia Composite Medical Board there is only one.

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Turns out Rep. Tom Price received $2,000 from Daiichi Sankyo Inc. in 2014.

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Who is Daiichi Sankyo Inc. and what do they make?

They are a Japanese pharmaceutical company and have a top-selling anti hypertensive drug, Olmesartan. They also have lots of what will undoubtedly be pricey oncology drugs in their pipeline.

But it didn’t seem like they had anything vaguely orthopedic and Rep. Price wasn’t practicing medicine in 2014 so I was very curious especially as there was no product listed.

So I did a little digging.

Turns out Daiichi Sankyo Inc. had to pay the Federal Government  $39 million for violating the False Claim Acts. The Department of Justice announced this on January 9, 2015.

Yes, Rep. Tom Price received $2,000 for undisclosed work done for a company on September 2, 2014 and on January 9, 2015 that company had to pay the Federal Government $39 million for “improper kickbacks in the form of speaker fees.”

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First of all if you are in the U.S. House of Representatives why are you doing work for a drug company? That’s stinky enough. However, Price was taking money from a company who was accused of and settled kickback allegations. Basically, they stole money from Medicare and Medicaid or as I like to say they stole taxpayer dollars.

I’m hoping some reporters look into this a little more and run with it. Here are some starter questions…

  1. Rep. Price as an orthopedic surgeon what product specifically of Daiichi Sankyo Inc. were you qualified to assist with?
  2. What work did you do for Daiichi Sankyo Inc? Be very specific and some kind of e-mail or other written proof would be very helpful in makings ure there was no impropriety.
  3. Are you not makinge nough money representing the people that you need pharma cash?
  4. Did you know Daiichi Sanyko Inc. was under investigation for violating the False Claims Act when you worked for them?
  5. If you become Secretary of Health and Human Services will you still be doing drug company work on the side?
  6. What do you think of the Falso Claims Act?

 

If all of this isn’t bad enough Members of Congress are prohibited from accepting honoraria. Typically, when a doctor does a speech or a any work for a drug comp the payment is called an honorarium.

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If Rep. Price wasn’t us to believe this isn’t an honorarium, he’d better explain exactly what it was for. Maybe he has some e-mails he can share.

 

 

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Updated Jan 17 6:30 am to include information on honoraria

 

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10 Comments

  1. After watching the Rachel Maddow show this evening it looks like Dr. Price’s nomination just may be yanked. Sad – Not!

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