The following information was released by the office of the Attorney General of Texas:
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a coalition of state attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Justice today resolved a lengthy civil Medicaid fraud investigation into Pfizer, Inc. As a result, more than $1 billion has been recovered for state Medicaid programs and several federal programs. Texas’ Medicaid program will recover $55 million in a state-federal government share.
According to investigators, Pfizer deceptively marketed its antipsychotic drug Geodon, its arthritis pain medication Bextra, which is no longer on the market, and 11 other pharmaceutical products.
The multi-state and federal investigation revealed that Pfizer unlawfully promoted atypical antipsychotic Geodon for use by Medicaid-eligible children to treat numerous conditions, including attention deficit disorder and anxiety. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Geodon for children. State and federal law prohibits pharmaceutical manufacturers from marketing their drugs for such “off-label” uses. While physicians may, at their discretion, prescribe drugs for off-label uses, it is unlawful for drug manufacturers to promote drugs’ uses which have not been approved by the FDA.
The states’ enforcement effort revealed that Pfizer provided unlawful financial incentives for physicians who wrote off-label prescriptions. Because of Pfizer’s promotional program, Medicaid paid for prescriptions many physicians would not otherwise have written for their patients. As a result, the taxpayer-funded program incurred unnecessary costs.
In a separate settlement, Attorney General Abbott and 42 other attorneys general reached a $33 million dollar agreement with Pfizer. The additional settlement resolves an inquiry into the defendant’s deceptive marketing of Geodon to health care providers. The agreement prevents Pfizer from making any false, misleading or deceptive claims regarding Geodon; promoting Geodon for uses not approved by the FDA; or otherwise promoting Geodon in an unlawful manner. Pfizer must also post online a list of health care providers that received payments from Pfizer.
Last January, Attorney General Abbott reached a $30 million civil Medicaid fraud settlement with Eli Lilly and Co., which unlawfully marketed the atypical antipsychotic Zyprexa. Last year, the Attorney General also recovered $15.7 million from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. for its illegal marketing of several drugs, including the atypical antipsychotic, Abilify.
A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units team conducted the investigation and settlement negotiations with Pfizer on behalf of the states. That team included representatives from Texas, Arkansas, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Virginia.
Today’s agreement reflects a continuing crackdown on waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicaid system. To obtain more information about the Attorney General’s efforts to fight Medicaid fraud, access the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov
It's Almost Tuesday is a fictional story based on true events of abuse within the Texas Foster Care System. The story is written as if told by an 8 year old foster child using his exact words whenever possible.
Study: Troubled homes are STILL better than foster care
Kids who stayed with their families were
LESS likely to become juvenile delinquents or teen mothers and more likely to hold jobs as young adults than kids who were removed into foster care. 14% OF KIDS WHO STAYED WITH FAMILY
WERE arrested at least once rather than 44% of kids who went to foster care! 33 % OF KIDS WHO STAYED WITH THEIR FAMILY BECAME teen mothers: but more than half (56%) of Kids WHO WENT TO FOSTER CARE BECAME TEEN MOTHERS!
33% OF KIDS WHO STAYED WITH THEIR FAMILY held a job at least 3 months: as opposed to merely 20 % of the Kids Who Went to foster care!
Out of 500,000 children in U.S. foster care STATISTICS SHOW that foster children are more likely than other kids to drop out of school,commit crimes, abuse drugs and become teen parents!
Teens aging out of foster care have spent nearly five years there That's twice the average length of time for all kids in the system. Fewer than 3% of foster kids earn college degrees.
Teens in foster care are less likely to finish high school and more likely to go to prison or become homeless. I HAVE ONE QUESTION: WITH THESE STATISTICS - HOW CAN THE GOVERNMENT TELL US THAT CPS IS PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN?
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TEXAS FOSTER KIDS – STILL FORGOTTEN
”I saw filthy living conditions, make-shift outhouses, unsanitary food storage, in so-called outdoor camps where children must sleep in sleeping bags - no walls, no fans, no heat - for months and months and in many cases, year after year. That’s not care. That’s cruelty. That’s not educating. That’s endangering” Carol Strayhorn on Texas Foster Care System in 2004
Caseworker: We know your husband is guilty, you've got
to force him into admitting it. Mother: How do you know he's guilty? Caseworker: We know he's guilty because he says he's
innocent. Guilty people always say they're innocent. Mother: What do innocent people say? Caseworker: We're not in the business of guilty or
innocent. We're in the business of putting families
together. Mother: So why not do that with us? Caseworker: Because he won't admit his guilt. (Source:) Wounded Innocents: The Real Victims of the War on Child Abuse (Paperback) by Richard Wexler
One Heartbroken Grandma
My recent investigation into the state’s foster care system turned this One Tough Grandma into One Heartbroken Grandma.
I am calling for a massive overhaul of the foster care system in a special report, Forgotten Children, which details a widespread crisis in the Texas foster care system.
They are everybody’s children and nobody’s children. They are the forgotten children. Some of them find homes with caring foster parents, or in treatment centers with experienced and caring providers, and some do not.
Some have been sexually, physically and emotionally abused while in the system; some have run away and joined the ranks of the missing. A few have even died at the hands of those entrusted with their care.
I am appalled at the conditions too many of our foster children must endure.
I challenge any defender of the status quo to put their child or grandchild in some of the places I’ve seen for one day, much less for a lifetime.
We must raise the bar on quality, make the foster care system more accountable, ensure the health and safety of all foster care children, and provide a brighter future for foster children.
Fortunately, I did find facilities that treat children well.
In each and every instance where children were getting the best care, the caregivers are working closely and openly with the community. Each facility needs that close relationship and support from the communities they serve. Otherwise, the children suffer.
Any society can be judged by how it treats its weakest members. My investigation shows that Texas can and must be judged harshly.
I will monitor changes made–or not made–as a result of this special report, and for the sake of our forgotten children, I will report back to the people of Texas in six weeks and six months and as long as it takes to fix this broken system and save all of our children.
Carole Keeton Strayhorn
Families Rights Should Be Protected
Quotes From Foster Children
Mother meant the whole world to me and there wasn’t anything I could do to get her back. It was like I had lost everything. Lucie, Age 19
I felt so bad for my mom and I constantly felt like it was my fault because I couldn’t do anything to stop it.
PoemGirl, Age 17
I felt so disappointed and heartbroken. I hated my life.
Brittany, Age 13
How does it feel to be a Foster Child? It’s like being in a great world of your own. MARK, Age 12
I felt very sad and I knew I could not do anything about it. I had to get over it. I know how it feels to be pushed around. I have been there.Einstein, Age 11
The placements did not work because in my heart I felt alone but in my mind I felt grown….The only problem in the home was me. There I was almost thirteen and hated the world. I could not trust anyone. I didn’t want to trust anyone. How could I trust someone? I had to
protect myself from hurt. The only way I could do that was to guard my heart….I messed up four homes because of this. Flower Girl, Age 18
I think that when you become an adult it’s just like a toddler you’re a caterpillar, and when you’re a kid you’re a cocoon and finally you become an adult which would be a butterfly. Jesse, Age 9
We should all make our foster care family a possibility.
MeMe, Age 17
The best advice I have from one foster child to another is that you never give up….Never think that you are worthless. Jane, Age 10
Foster Care – Go On!
by Crystal, age 13
Have you ever said mom, dad I love you?
Have you ever hugged them goodbye?
Well have you ever sat in a room and cried?
Well I can’t everyday say I love you mom, or
dad I can’t say goodbye!
Sometimes when I visit my dad and I have to be supervised!
How would you feel to live in a different home every couple of months?
You can’t stay in one place...
You always feel like you are replaced!
People saying they don’t want you there...
People lying so they won’t hurt your feelings!
People watching your every footstep while you sit there crying.
They can’t hold you like your parents.
I have to say I’m strong when I move there.
So I can GO ON
How would you feel to lift your head and see someone everyday that is not your mom and dad?
Would you cry, would you worry?
Or would you fly or would you scurry?
Sometimes you have to let go.
Sometimes you have to turn away.
Sometimes you let the tears drop,
And let them flow anyway.
There is more hurt to this than you will ever feel!
To see your mother die on mother’s day...
I have to GO ON is all you can say