“Jones' lawsuit alleges that the companies launched a drug named Risperdal in 1994 to treat schizophrenia. About the same time, the state was developing a protocol, or treatment guidelines, for which drugs should be used in public mental health programs. [This is the Texas Medication Algorithm Project.] The defendants "provided substantial financial contributions to and improperly influenced the development" of the protocols, the lawsuit said, and Risperdal took precedence in the protocols over cheaper, equally effective medicines.
The drug later received recommendations as the medicine of choice in the state's mental health protocol for treating children and adolescents, even though it lacked a Food and Drug Administration indication for those age groups, the lawsuit says. It says side effects and health risks include increased chance of stroke, renal failure and hyperglycemia.
The companies pushed Risperdal in other states through paid consultants on expert panels, peer-to-peer marketing strategies and "administrative decisions made by a select few public officials," the lawsuit says. The companies sent an unnamed
The lawsuit says at least 17 states, including
“A commission spokesman did say
That hopefully piqued your interest. Essentially,
The plot thickens. In Pennsylvania, a state official (Steven Fiorello) who was on a committee that helped decide which meds would get used for mental health treatment in state hospitals was charged criminally. Why? Because he had received honoraria and other income from drug companies and failed to disclose these conflicts of interest. My earlier post (Bribery Pays) tells a little more about his story. Why is this relevant? Because the program in
So what about TMAP and money? Oh, right, the lawsuit. That’s coming in my next post…