Psych Crime Reporter

November 24, 2012

State halts Medicaid payments to psychiatrist Michael Reinstein; federal suit fraud, kickback allegations

Filed under: crime and fraud,Medicaid-Medicare fraud,psychiatrist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 2:19 pm

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has suspended Medicaid payments to a controversial Chicago psychiatrist who the federal government says fraudulently prescribed antipsychotic medication to thousands of mentally ill nursing home patients.

The action means that Dr. Michael J. Reinstein, also accused in a federal lawsuit of accepting kickbacks from drug companies, will be prohibited from billing Medicaid, and that any unprocessed bills already submitted will not be paid, said Bradley Hart, Medicaid inspector general.

Hart said the 180-day suspension could be extended pending the status of the federal lawsuit, which was filed last week.

Meanwhile, another state agency, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, has filed a formal complaint against Reinstein that mirrors the federal accusations and could lead to disciplinary action on his medical license. A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 17.

The two-count complaint alleges that Reinstein “routinely and continuously” prescribed to elderly patients various psychiatric medications, including clozapine, also known by its brand name, Clozaril, despite the risk of potentially life-threatening side effects, including seizures and death.

The “respondent knew and/or should have known that clozapine is considered to be a drug of last resort for elderly patients,” the complaint says.

The complaint also alleges that Reinstein prescribed the treatment in exchange for financial compensation from IVAX, the manufacturer of generic clozapine, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the company that IVAX later merged into.

Reached by phone Monday, Reinstein, 69, said he was unaware of the payment suspension and couldn’t comment on it. But he said he prescribed the drug appropriately.

“I feel my treatment with clozapine was justified,” he said. “I think for the severely mentally ill population that I treat, the patients I use clozapine with, it was the best choice. I am confident that I will be vindicated.”

He said he will borrow money if necessary to continue his medical practice, which includes working at four hospitals, 20 nursing homes and his office in the Uptown area.

Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro said last week that the federal lawsuit filed against Reinstein represented “the largest civil case alleging prescription medication fraud against an individual ever brought in Chicago.”

A joint 2009 investigation by the Tribune and ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative journalism group, revealed Reinstein’s unusually heavy reliance on clozapine, which has been linked to at least three deaths. In 2007 he wrote more prescriptions for clozapine than all the doctors in Texas combined, the investigation found. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation mentioned the series in its complaint.

In their lawsuit, federal authorities alleged that Reinstein submitted at least 140,000 false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for antipsychotic medications he had prescribed based on the kickbacks he received from pharmaceutical companies instead of the medical needs of his patients.

He also allegedly submitted 50,000 more claims to Medicare and Medicaid in which he falsely stated he had properly monitored the conditions of his patients at more than 30 area nursing homes and long-term care facilities, according to the lawsuit.

The suit seeks triple damages under the False Claims Act as well as hefty civil penalties for each of the tens of thousands of alleged false claims — a total that could easily reach millions of dollars if authorities prove the allegations against Reinstein.

Federal authorities said they are continuing to investigate Reinstein. Hart said his department is assisting them, including calculating the amount of payments for which they may seek restitution.

Source: Deborah L. Shelton, “Watchdog Update: Medicaid payments to psychiatrist halted,” Chicago Tribune, November 20, 2012.

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Inspectors criticize “appalling” conditions at psychiatric unit

Filed under: patient abuse,patient death or suicide,psychiatric hospital or facility — Psych Crime Reporter @ 2:18 pm

PATIENTS in one ward in a psychiatric hospital were left in an “appalling” situation, without any therapy or stimulation, inspectors have found.

Residents in St Senan’s Hospital, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, were suffering from “severe institutionalised” and problem behaviour more than likely contributed to by lack of stimulation and therapies.

The findings, in a report by inspectors from the Mental Health Commission, found the residents in St Christopher’s ward had no input from psychology, social work or occupational therapy.

“The only input was from medical and nursing staff, apart from one art session a week from a recreational therapist,” the report said.

“Staff were not trained in intellectual disability and mental illness and were not in a position to provide appropriate therapies for the residents.”

The hospital is due to close next March, and residents are to be moved to purpose-built accommodation.

A separate report on the unit in Waterford Regional Hospital found there had been significant slippage in the provision of individual care plans since the previous inspection.

It continued to provide a high standard of care in electric shock treatment, but mental health teams were under-resourced and this impacted on the scope of care provided.

Another report, into Teach Aisling, a 10-bed approved centre for people with severe and enduring mental illness in Co Mayo, found the physical care of residents was below standard.

The door to the hospital was routinely locked, and although a number of voluntary residents were free to leave they could not do so unless accompanied, and that was dependent on the availability of staff.

The inspectors criticised the physical state of the bedsits and said they needed to be urgently refurbished.

One resident asked that the main communal sitting area be painted with some colour and that flowers be planted in the garden.

The inspectors said it was a “pity to see the enclosed garden space untended, with weeds and cigarette butts, and the side herb garden overgrown with weeds”.

Source: Eilish O’Regan, “Inspectors criticise ‘appalling’ psychiatric unit,” Irish Independent, November 23, 2012.

America’s leading psychiatrist convicts himself of crimes against humanity

Filed under: Diagnostic & Statistical Manual/DSM — Psych Crime Reporter @ 2:17 pm

The medical cartel, one of a handful of evolving super-cartels that strive for more power every day, is rife with so much fraud it’s astounding. In the psychiatric arena, for example, an open secret has been bleeding out into public consciousness for the past ten years.

THERE ARE NO DEFINITIVE LABORATORY TESTS FOR ANY SO-CALLED MENTAL DISORDER.

And along with that:

ALL SO-CALLED MENTAL DISORDERS ARE CONCOCTED, NAMED, LABELED, DESCRIBED, AND CATEGORIZED by a committee of psychiatrists, from menus of human behaviors.

Their findings are published in periodically updated editions of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), printed by the American Psychiatric Association.

For years, even psychiatrists have been blowing the whistle on this hazy crazy process of “research.”

Of course, pharmaceutical companies, who manufacture highly toxic drugs to treat every one of these “disorders,” are leading the charge to invent more and more mental-health categories, so they can sell more drugs and make more money.

But we have a mind-boggling twist. Under the radar, one of the great psychiatric stars, who has been out in front inventing mental disorders, went public. He blew the whistle on himself and his colleagues. And for 2 years, almost no one noticed.

His name is Dr. Allen Frances, and he made VERY interesting statements to Gary Greenberg, author of a Wired article: “Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness.” (Dec.27, 2010).

Major media never picked up on the interview in any serious way. It never became a scandal.

Dr. Allen Frances is the man who, in 1994, headed up the project to write the latest edition of the psychiatric bible, the DSM-IV. This tome defines and labels and describes every official mental disorder. The DSM-IV eventually listed 297 of them.

In an April 19, 1994, New York Times piece, “Scientist At Work,” Daniel Goleman called Frances “Perhaps the most powerful psychiatrist in America at the moment…”

Well, sure. If you’re sculpting the entire canon of diagnosable mental disorders for your colleagues, for insurers, for the government, for Pharma (who will sell the drugs matched up to the 297 DSM-IV diagnoses), you’re right up there in the pantheon.

Long after the DSM-IV had been put into print, Dr. Frances talked to Wired’s Greenberg and said the following:

“There is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.”

BANG.

That’s on the order of the designer of the Hindenburg, looking at the burned rubble on the ground, remarking, “Well, I knew there would be a problem.”

After a suitable pause, Dr. Frances remarked to Greenberg, “These concepts [of distinct mental disorders] are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the borders.”

Frances might have been referring to the fact that his baby, the DSM-IV, had rearranged earlier definitions of ADHD and Bipolar to permit many MORE diagnoses, leading to a vast acceleration of drug-dosing with highly powerful and toxic compounds.

Finally, at the end of the Wired interview, Frances flew off into a bizarre fantasy:

“Diagnosis [as spelled out in the DSM-IV] is part of the magic…you know those medieval maps? In the places where they didn’t know what was going on, they wrote ‘Dragons live here’…we have a dragon’s world here. But you wouldn’t want to be without the map.”

Translation: People need to hope for the healing of their troubles; so even if we psychiatrists are shooting blanks and pretending to know one kind of mental disorder from another, even if we’re inventing these mental-disorder definitions based on no biological or chemical diagnostic tests—it’s a good thing, because people will then believe there is hope for them; they’ll believe it because we place a name on their problems…

If this is medical science, a duck is a rocket ship.

If I were an editor at one of the big national newspapers, and one of my reporters walked in and told me, “The most powerful psychiatrist in America just said the DSM is sheer b.s. but it’s still important,” I think I’d make room on the front page.

If the reporter then added, “This shrink was in charge of creating the DSM-IV,” I’d clear more room above the fold.

If the reporter went on to explain that the whole profession of psychiatry would collapse overnight if the DSM was discredited, I’d call for a special section of the paper to be printed.

I’d tell the reporter to get ready to pound on this story day after day for months. I’d tell him to track down all the implications of Dr. Frances’ statements.

I’d open a bottle of champagne to toast the soon-to-be-soaring sales of my newspaper.

And then, of course, the next day I’d be fired.

Because there are powerful multi-billion-dollar interests at stake, and those people don’t like their deepest secrets exposed in the press.

And as I walked out of my job, I’d see a bevy of blank-eyed pharmaceutical executives marching into the office of the paper’s publisher, ready to read the riot act to him.

Keep in mind that Dr. Frances’ work on the DSM IV allowed for MORE toxic drugs to be prescribed, because the definition of Bipolar was expanded to include more people.

Adverse effects of Valproate (given for a Bipolar diagnosis) include:

acute, life-threatening, and even fatal liver toxicity;

life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas;

brain damage.

Adverse effects of Lithium (also given for a Bipolar diagnosis) include:

intercranial pressure leading to blindness;

peripheral circulatory collapse;

stupor and coma.

Adverse effects of Risperdal (given for “Bipolar” and “irritability stemming from autism”) include:

serious impairment of cognitive function;

fainting;

restless muscles in neck or face, tremors (may be indicative of motor brain damage).

Dr. Frances self-admitted label-juggling act also permitted the definition of ADHD to expand, thereby opening the door for greater and greater use of Ritalin (and other similar compounds) as the treatment of choice.

So what about Ritalin?

In 1986, The International Journal of the Addictions published a most important literature review by Richard Scarnati. It was called “An Outline of Hazardous Side Effects of Ritalin (Methylphenidate)” [v.21(7), pp. 837-841].

Scarnati listed a large number of adverse affects of Ritalin and cited published journal articles which reported each of these symptoms.

For every one of the following (selected and quoted verbatim) Ritalin effects, there is at least one confirming source in the medical literature:

Paranoid delusions
Paranoid psychosis
Hypomanic and manic symptoms, amphetamine-like psychosis
Activation of psychotic symptoms
Toxic psychosis
Visual hallucinations
Auditory hallucinations
Can surpass LSD in producing bizarre experiences
Effects pathological thought processes
Extreme withdrawal
Terrified affect
Started screaming
Aggressiveness
Insomnia
Since Ritalin is considered an amphetamine-type drug, expect amphetamine-like effects
Psychic dependence
High-abuse potential DEA Schedule II Drug
Decreased REM sleep
When used with antidepressants one may see dangerous reactions including hypertension, seizures and hypothermia
Convulsions
Brain damage may be seen with amphetamine abuse.

A recent survey revealed that a high percentage of children diagnosed with bipolar had first received a diagnosis of ADHD. This is informative, because Ritalin and other speed-type drugs are given to kids who are slapped with the ADHD label. Speed, sooner or later, produces a crash. This is easy to call “clinical depression.” Then comes Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft. These drugs can produce temporary highs, followed by more crashes. The psychiatrist notices the up and down pattern – and then comes the diagnosis of Bipolar (manic-depression) and other drugs, including Valproate and Lithium.

In the US alone, there are at least 300,000 cases of motor brain damage incurred by people who have been prescribed so-called anti-psychotic drugs (aka “major tranquilizers”). Risperdal (mentioned above as a drug given to people diagnosed with Bipolar) is one of those major tranquilizers. (source: Toxic Psychiatry, Dr. Peter Breggin, St. Martin’s Press, 1991)

This psychiatric drug plague is accelerating across the land.

Where are the mainstream reporters and editors and newspapers and TV anchors who should be breaking this story and mercilessly hammering on it week after week? They are in harness.

And Dr. Frances is somehow let off the hook. He’s admitted in print that the whole basis of his profession is throwing darts at labels on a wall, and implies the “effort” is rather heroic – when, in fact, the effort leads to more and more poisonous drugs being dispensed to adults and children, to say nothing of the effect of being diagnosed with “a mental disorder.” I’m not talking about “the mental-disease stigma,” the removal of which is one of Hillary Clinton’s missions in life. No, I’m talking about MOVING A HUMAN INTO THE SYSTEM, the medical apparatus, where the essence of the game is trapping that person to harvest his money, his time, his energy, and of course his health—as one new diagnosis follows on another, and one new toxic treatment after another is undertaken, from cradle to grave. The result is a severely debilitated human being (if he survives), whose major claim to fame is his list of diseases and disorders, which he learns to wear like badges of honor.

Thank you, Dr. Frances.

Jon Rappoport
The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.
http://www.nomorefakenews.com

About the author: The author of an explosive new collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. http://www.nomorefakenews.com

Source: Jon Rappoport, “America’s leading psychiatrist convicts himself of crimes against humanity,” NaturalNews.com, September 3, 2012.

Danish psychiatric center accused of dangerous over-medication

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 2:16 pm

A Greater Copenhagen psychiatric care centre is facing intense criticism from former employees and the Health Ministry over allegations of over-medication of patients and poor management.

Psychiatrists working at Psykiatrisk Center Glostrup have reportedly been concerned for several years that patients were receiving doses of anti-psychotic medications that exceeded recommendations.

Michael Von Buchwald, a former centre psychiatrist, told public broadcaster DR that many patients were also receiving tranquilisers, which had resulted in some developing breathing problems.

“I don’t think it’s defensible. It shouldn’t be happening,” he said.

Buchwald is one of 11 psychiatrists that have resigned from the centre in recent years due to disillusionment with the leadership.

“The psychiatrists are partially unsatisfied with the working environment, leadership style and the way that they are medicating,” Buchwald said.

Concern about the over-medication has now lead the Health Ministry to launch an investigation and condemn the management for overdosing patients.

“We want to ensure that there is sufficient justification to treat patients in this way as we do not want to subject patients to further risk,” Anne Mette Dons, head of the Health Ministry’s inspection authority told DR.

Psychiatrists that have spoken with the press indicated that the high doses of the anti-psychotic medication, Zyprexa, were ordered by Henrik Lublin, the psychiatrist who heads the centre. Lublin said he had reversed the decision after receiving an anonymous letter in March drawing attention to the problem.

But a copy of minutes from a meeting in December 2009 reveal that Lublin he had been made aware of the over-medication problem long before.

“The head clinician’s prescriptions of Zyprexa (anti-psychotic medication) clearly exceed the instructed doses while also combining them with benzodiazepams (tranquilisers),” the minutes state.

Psychiatrist Bent Rosenbaum was at the 2009 meeting, confirmed that the management had been aware of the problem.

“It’s a high level of denial,” Rosenbaum told DR. “The management knew the psychiatrists were dissatisfied with the doses that the chief psychiatrists dictated should be used.”

Lublin, however, has denied any irresponsible behaviour.

“I think we have been fully responsible and have used the medicines responsibly,” he told DR.

Source: “Psychiatric center accused of dangerous over-medication,” Copenhagen Post, June 19, 2012. 

November 19, 2012

US Attorney files fraud lawsuit against Illinois psychiatrist Michael Reinstein

Filed under: crime and fraud,prescription drugs,psychiatrist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 12:39 pm

The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois filed a federal fraud lawsuit today against a Chicago psychiatrist profiled by ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune in 2009 for his voluminous prescribing of antipsychotic drugs to nursing home patients.

In a news release, the government says that Dr. Michael Reinstein “received illegal kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies and submitted at least 140,000 false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for antipsychotic medications he prescribed for thousands of mentally ill patients in area nursing homes.”
Original Story

In Chicago’s Nursing Homes, a Psychiatrist Delivers High-Risk Meds, Cut-Rate Care

by Christina Jewett, ProPublica, and Sam Roe, Chicago Tribune, Nov. 10, 2009

ProPublica and the Tribune reported in 2009 that Reinstein prescribed more of the risky antipsychotic clozapine to patients in Illinois’ Medicaid program in 2007 than all of the doctors in the Medicaid programs of Texas, Florida and North Carolina.

The government accuses Reinstein of billing Medicare and Medicaid for managing his patients’ medications, “knowing that he did not engage in substantive evaluations of his patients’ medical and psychiatric conditions to properly manage their medications,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in its release. “Instead, he allegedly prescribed medications to his patients based on his receipt of kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies.”

Prosecutors allege that Reinstein’s prescribing decisions were motivated by money and perks from pharmaceutical companies. He allegedly switched patients from one brand of clozapine to another based on money and other enticements he received from a pharmaceutical maker.

Before August 2003, the government alleged, Reinstein prescribed Clozaril, brand name for clozapine made by Novartis, which paid him to promote the drug.

When the drug went off patent in 1998, the lawsuit says, Reinstein resisted attempts to switch his patients to cheaper, generic versions. But when Novartis stopped paying Reinstein in 2003, the lawsuit says, he switched his patients to a generic version made by IVAX Pharamceuticals.

That company had agreed to pay him a consulting fee, pay his nurse to speak on the drug’s behalf and fund a research study at an affiliated institute, according to the lawsuit.

“While generally only four percent of schizophrenia patients who were prescribed antipsychotics received clozapine, during the time Reinstein was allegedly accepting kickbacks from IVAX, more than 50 percent of his patients were prescribed IVAX’s clozapine,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in its news release. “At one nursing home, Reinstein had 75 percent of the 400 residents on IVAX’s clozapine.”

Ivax paid other perks to Reinstein and his associates, including airfare, entertainment expenses, a fishing trip, a boat cruise and a golf outing, the lawsuit says.

In 2006, Reinstein began switching to clozapine made by a different company but moved some patients back when he received additional perks and funds, the lawsuit says.

In an interview, federal prosecutor Eric Pruitt would not comment on whether his office would pursue criminal charges against Reinstein or whether any legal action would be taken against the pharmaceutical companies that allegedly paid the physician kickbacks.

A call left at the office of Reinstein’s attorney was not immediately returned.

The 2009 investigation by ProPublica and the Tribune showed that Reinstein’s high prescribing had serious consequences for his patients. Autopsy and court records showed that by 2009 at least three patients under Reinstein’s care had died of clozapine intoxication. One of them, a 50-year-old man, had five times the toxic level of clozapine in his blood when he died, according to his medical records.

Reporters determined that, based on his Medicaid prescribing alone, Reinstein he would have to work 21 hours a day, seven days a week to see each of his patients for 10 minutes. Research has found that the typical U.S. psychiatrist sees about 35 patients per week; Reinstein was seeing 60 each day, he wrote in an audit report in 2007.

Source: Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber, “High-Prescribing Chicago Psychiatrist Faces Federal Fraud Suit,” ProPublica, November 15, 2012.

Psychiatrist Todd Clements convicted on prescription fraud, surrenders license

Filed under: crime and fraud,psychiatrist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 12:38 pm

A nationally known Frisco psychiatrist convicted of fraudulently issuing prescriptions surrendered his medical license on Wednesday, according to the Collin County District Attorney’s Office.

Todd M. Clements, 43, who lived in Frisco and practiced in Plano and Frisco pleaded guilty to three felony counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraudulently issuing prescriptions.

According to the district attorney’s office, Clements obtained Lisdexaphetamine and Zolpidem, both controlled substances, by issuing fraudulent prescriptions on Aug. 5, 2009, and March 1, 2010.

Clements was a practicing doctor at Clements Clinic of Plano and at the Frisco Counseling and Wellness Center. The author of several books, Clements also co-hosted Meier Clinics Live, a syndicated call-in radio show. He helped start the Plano clinic in 2008.

He permanently surrendered his license to practice medicine in Texas. He was also placed on felony supervision in a specialized substance abuse caseload for 10 years, the maximum allowed, prosecutors said.

Source: Valerie Wigglesworth, “Convicted Frisco psychiatrist surrenders medical license,” Dallas Morning News, November 15, 2012

November 13, 2012

Psychiatrist Raul Juan Sora disciplined in Arizona, Pennsylvania

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 12:11 pm

On May 11, 2012, the Pennsylvania Board of Medicine placed the license of psychiatrist Raul Juan Sora on probation until such time as he provides documentary evidence satisfactory to the Board that the Arizona Medical Board has reinstated his license to practice medicine without restriction.

The Arizona Board previously reprimanded Sora and placed him on five years probation based on a complaint it received in May 2010, alleging that Sora practiced medicine while physically or mentally impaired.

Clinical social worker sanctioned by state: Jean Kenney practiced beyond the scope of her training, patient committed suicide

Filed under: clinical drug trials,patient death/suicide — Psych Crime Reporter @ 12:08 pm
Tags: ,

Dan Markingson’s mother has waited nearly a decade for researchers in a University of Minnesota drug study to be held accountable for the suicide of her son.

A small piece of that accountability came when state regulators and former U of M social worker Jean Kenney reached an agreement about actions she must take as a result of errors she made in Markingson’s care during the study.

“It is the first public acknowledgement of the wrongs that were done,” said Mike Howard, a close friend to Markingson’s mother, Mary Weiss.

Markingson’s death in May 2004, during a clinical trial of antipsychotic drugs, has had ripple effects at the university, including a lawsuit, a federal probe and an overhaul of the school’s ethics standards for clinical trials.

But no one involved in the fateful study had suffered any sanctions until now.

Even the action regarding Kenney, issued Friday by the Minnesota Board of Social Work, isn’t a disciplinary action; it is listed only as an “agreement for correction action.” The unusual licensing document requires that Kenney complete 18 hours of training and write a report on whether it alters her view of her conduct in the drug trial.

In some ways, the document raises more questions about the psychiatrists who led the study — and why they put Kenney in a role beyond her scope of training — than about Kenney herself, Howard said.

“It’s a pretty big black mark over there on how things were being done,” Howard said.

Kenney said she was simply “acting under … supervision and in accordance with the protocols that had been approved,” according to the document. Her attorney, David Alsop, said Kenney reached the agreement with the social work board in order to “get this behind” her.

The document asserts that Kenney wrote incorrect drug dosages and made other mistakes in Markingson’s records. She also made clinical observations about Markingson, and whether the drugs caused him side effects, that were beyond her scope of practice as a social worker, the order said. Kenney also was criticized for failing to adequately respond to the concerns of Markingson’s family — his mother at one point questioned whether her son would have to die before she would be taken seriously — or recording how information gathered about Markingson was used in his treatment planning.

Alsop said Kenney disagrees with most of the statements in the document, but acknowledges the recordkeeping errors. “She did” make those errors, he said, “but it didn’t affect the tragic outcome of this case.”

U was cleared by FDA

The university has been held blameless in Markingson’s death. The 27-year-old, who had schizophrenia, had been in the trial for months when he killed himself in a West St. Paul group home.

The so-called CAFE study was funded by drugmaker AstraZeneca to compare three antipsychotic drugs, including the drug Seroquel, which Markingson was taking.

The university and AstraZeneca were dismissed from a lawsuit by Markingson’s mother. An investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration didn’t fault them either. The lead psychiatrist for the study, Stephen Olson, settled the lawsuit for modest costs but has faced no disciplinary action.

Markingson’s relatives aren’t the only ones who raised concerns, though. The mental health ombudsman for the state of Minnesota questioned how Markingson was recruited into the study.

A judge had ordered Markingson to comply with the recommendations of his psychiatrist, Olson, or face inpatient commitment. Markingson agreed to participate in the study shortly after that court order was issued.

The Minnesota Legislature has since made it illegal for psychiatrists to recruit their own patients into their own clinical trials.

U of M ethics Prof. Carl Elliott has criticized his own institution for the study. On Monday, Elliott called the Kenney agreement “alarming.” He has questioned whether Markingson ever had the mental capacity to consent to the study. But even if his written consent was valid at first, the document suggests that it was invalidated when the university failed to notify him of risks of taking Seroquel that were discovered during the trial.

“The university ought to be looking into this,” Elliott said.

Officials with the U and the social work board weren’t available Monday, a federal holiday. In previous correspondence, university officials have defended their psychiatrists and cited the lack of investigatory findings as reasons to support them.

Source: Jeremy Olson, “Sanctions imposed in 2004 U drug trial death,” Star Tribune, November 12, 2012.

November 12, 2012

Psychiatrist William Ayres faces child molestation retrial in March 2013

Filed under: child molestation,psychiatrist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:16 am

A once-prominent Northern California child psychiatrist is set to be retried on charges that he molested patients after a judge sided with prosecutors who argued that he fooled mental health experts into believing he had dementia to avoid prosecution.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge John Grandsaert set a March 2013 trial date for William Ayres, 80, on Wednesday.

Ayres was tried in 2009 on charges that he molested several young boys under his care, but a jury couldn’t reach a verdict. He was accused of using physical exams that included the genitals as a cover for the abuse.

Prosecutors attempted to retry him, but Ayres was ruled incompetent and sent to Napa State Hospital.

Grandsaert said a key factor in his ruling was a report from a psychologist who said Ayres faked or at least exaggerated dementia.

The psychologist, John McIlnay, said Ayres was able to perform tasks that would be difficult for someone with dementia, including spelling “Alzheimer’s” for the nurse filling out his admissions form and recognizing and greeting a fellow psychiatrist he hadn’t seen in more than a year.

The defense countered that a dozen mental health professionals who examined Ayres, including two doctors at Napa State Hospital, agreed he had dementia.

Ayres’ attorney, Jonathan McDougall, told the San Mateo County Times (http://bit.ly/W8vULB ) he’ll consider appealing Grandsaert’s decision.

Ayres is the former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. His patients were a mix of private clients from wealthy families who were referred by their pediatricians and troubled juvenile delinquents ordered to undergo therapy by the courts.

He was arrested in 2007 after a four-year investigation, and his license to practice medicine was suspended.

Ayres testified at his trial that the exams he conducted on some of his patients were necessary because he had concerns about their physical health.

Source: Judge: “Psychiatrist fooled mental health experts,” Associated Press, November 1, 2012. 

November 9, 2012

Psychiatrist Bolarinwa Olutosin Oluwole loses license for sex with patients

Filed under: psychiatrist,sexual abuse,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 10:55 am

A psychiatrist who worked at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital has lost his licence for sexual misconduct with his patients.

Dr. Bolarinwa Olutosin Oluwole had sexual intercourse with two female patients and acted inappropriately with another female patient, the College of Physicians and Surgeons said in a news release Thursday.

Two women lodged complaints against him in March 2010 and a third woman filed a complaint the following September. Oluwole lost his professional sponsorship in June 2010, which ended his ability to practise in Nova Scotia at that time, the college said.

Oluwole, a native of Nigeria, is now living in Ontario but he is not practising, said college registrar Dr. Gus Grant in an interview.

“If you were to seek a licence in any jurisdiction in Canada, that jurisdiction would have to get a certificate of professional conduct from our college,” Grant said. “In doing so, they would be made fully aware of this decision.”

In the course of the investigation, the college received evidence that included condoms, lubricant and a CD of sexually explicit photographs of a woman found in Oluwole’s desk. None of the complainants were in the photographs, the college’s hearing committee said in its report released Thursday.

Oluwole signed a settlement agreement in August 2012 admitting his sexual misconduct.

He was hired as a staff psychiatrist at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital in 2008. He received his medical degree in Nigeria and completed his psychiatric residence in Ireland in 2006.

Oluwoleworked at the London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ont., before coming to Nova Scotia, Grant said.

Source: John McPhee, “Psychiatrist loses licence for having sex with patients,” Herald News, November 8, 2012.

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