My Meeting with the Cancer Drug Mafia

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Ryan Souders, bottom-feeding suckerfish sucking his way up the ladder of pharma corporatocracy since 2006, and the man behind a multifaceted attack on a small alternative cancer clinic on behalf of the cancer industry that took place over a four year time span, through stalking of former patients, sabotage of results, murder by poisoning, manufacturing of bogus charges of “selling misbranded drugs” against a company that sold no drugs and used no drugs, bogus charges of “selling misbranded devices” against a company that sold no devices, indictments of “fraud” in the face of numerous cured patients who gave sworn testimonies, who outnumbered their prosecution counterparts nearly two-to-one, in the face of expert testimony from laser cancer specialists confirming that this “fraudulent” treatment was not only valid but highly effective, and then immediately after securing indictment,  leaving the Dept. of Justice to go to work as an attorney for cancer drug giant Amgen Biotech, who orchestrated the entire affair, his ultimate reward for a “job well done.” Souders is now Senior Legal Counsel for the Pharma Giant.  His promotion into the pharma corporatocracy was so swift that he was not even present at the trial, leaving his inept and clueless DOJ partners holding a pathetic bag of arguments that were easily picked to pieces by the Defense counsel, before a rigged jury that delivered 29 guilty fraud verdicts despite all the evidence presented. Coincidence? We think not.

Amgen Biotech is but one of the many criminal protection rackets that own your government… and you. Most people cannot imagine the obscene level of power they and other corporations like them hold, but after reading this, maybe they will.

Science is a never ending continuum of hypothesis and results. Science is neither created nor destroyed. It simply is. Science is not a panel of men in white coats, nor is it a boardroom full of investors paying them to support one hypothesis over another, nor is it a cabal of suits and black robes in a temple passing “rulings” and “verdicts.” Science is truth. Science is always revealing, never arriving. Science is eternal. Science cannot be put away in a cage to die just to make it “shut up.” But science backs up the hypothesis that public opinion can be manipulated by big media and industry when there are inexhaustible amounts of money driving it.  At the end of the day, money and power cannot create any scientific truth except for the truth of money and power.

I did not just suddenly wake up one day and decide to create a site about one pharmaceutical giant in a world full of predatory vulture capitalists, but a series of unbelievable events which took place in my life over more than ten years has now left me little choice.

I had a BA in Political Science but had never had much luck putting it to work, as I detested politicians and politics in general, and the older I got, the more fake it all seemed to me, to where I knew politics was little more than a puppet show put on by those who really run things. In 2006 I left my hotel job and began working in a small alternative clinic in Sherwood, Arkansas, helping with filing, computer issues, and driving the shuttle to transport patients. I knew nothing of what they did at first. I had recently remarried, and my mother in law, the owner of the clinic, did not talk about what she did, outside the fact that she was a physicist specializing in lasers, who had worked as part of the Star Wars Missile Defense development team back in the Reagan days, as a reliability engineer, and that she had been blackballed for whistle-blowing when inferior parts were being assembled on her watch. (I would later learn the reason her clinic had never been discussed in front of me before then was my wife’s ex husband, who knew about the clinic, and had married her for financial gains which never materialized.)

The PhD physicist was Dr. Antonella Carpenter (nee Aprile), born in Milan, Italy, educated in Europe, emigrated in her 20’s, and the small clinic was called Lase Med Inc. Apparently as I would later learn, she had in the 90s developed a special laser and treatment protocol to treat certain kinds of cancer, involving a stain that only the tumor retained… the laser had been specially designed to react with the color of the stain to kill tumors in place. Her method is copied in research hospitals all over the world to this day, but hers pre-dates all of them. HER principles of laser hyperthermia are now widely used in research programs, quite needlessly in conjunction with one of several lucrative pharma or “nano” compounds, when only a “color vs light” reaction is neccessary; to make it lucrative and attractive to investors, the star of the show must be an expensive “drug,” not a reaction of basic physics… similar to  a magician waving his hands and saying nonsense words to distract the audience from the source of the “magic…” because only a pharma company can afford to grant funding for such a project in today’s of the pharma, by the pharma, and for the pharma” medical community (and pay off the alphabet soup agencies), and it must be controlled so as not to infringe on the profits of their sacred cash cow, the chemotherapy market. Little did I know it, but my life would change forever as a result of this job.

My wife Wendy, who helped at the clinic part time, since she only saw maybe one patient every two or three months, was pregnant with our daughter, and at the same time, Dr. Carpenter’s patient load began a three year period of constant growth. She needed help and I needed a better job than working at a hotel. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced. The people I met were not locals, they were from places like Australia, Germany, Belgium, South Africa, Japan, even some Amish from Pennsylvania. She did not advertise, at least locally, but she was known through professional circles and on shortwave-streamcast radio, through talk radio guest appearances on networks like RBN, GCN, NPR, and radio commercials heard all over the world.

During my first few months there, I studied their small “Geocities” website, lasemedinc.com. and after several conversations with Dr. Carpenter about changes she wanted made, began learning little by little about web pages and graphics, eventually taking some Adobe courses, and slowly expanding her three page site into something bigger, creating a new logo based on her original, adding new pages as she would give the content to me, even an interactive Flash menu made of StarWars light sabers. The site is no longer up, as a result of financial difficulties which we will get into later, but there are archive shots of it on the “Wayback Machine” archive website.

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During the next 3 years, Dr. Carpenter’s patient load grew so fast that she had to relocate twice and hire additional staff, while amazing reports kept coming in from all over the world, from patients who were getting clean bills of health from their doctors back home. We added a Testimonials page to the website and with their permission, displayed their messages there one at a time. The only thing the patients had to do after treatment was stay away from chemo and radiation, which for most was not a hard prescription to fill. (But as we would learn, for others, it was an outright declaration of WAR.) During this growth period, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the biggest newspaper in Arkansas, ran a large quarter-page ad for her clinic, and the local NBC affiliate, KARK-4, did an interview series with her. That same year, she came in early one day and caught the MD who worked for her having an unannounced meeting with a medical equipment manufacturer in the office, and a week later caught him trying to leave the building with a patient’s records. He was terminated as a result.

Around 2008 or 2009, she was treating more people from the US, and I began hearing occasionally (but seldom) of ex patients being coerced successfully by their doctors to undergo chemo, and I personally witnessed the anguish that it brought on Dr. Carpenter. It was ok to be known internationally, but when she started “taking potential revenue” from American Big Pharma (a few thousand for laser treatment vs a quarter million for “conventional” treatment), she became a threat to National Security, and something “had to be done.” Every patient seen by Dr. Carpenter equated to  a lost revenue opportunity for Big Pharma.

Once I witnessed how it affected her, when the news arrived that one of the patients who she had treated had been successfully convinced by an oncologist back home that he needed chemo, despite all her warnings that it would be lethal, and died just days after the first infusion, I realized I was in the eye of a pharmaceutical hurricane. She was on their radar, and more and more oncologists were targeting her patients in attempts to destroy the results of her treatment with chemo poisons, since there was no pharmaceutical profit whatsoever in the treatment she performed. (When she had first developed it in the late 1980’s, she had approached a cancer research hospital in her then hometown of Little Rock, AR, and their reaction was 1. that the treatment was too labor intensive for the person administering the treatment, and 2. that they “could not make enough money” with it.)

In late 2008, the Attorney General’s office in Arkansas, about a week after the MD’s termination, basically ordered her to hand over all the details of her lasers, her color stain, and the protocol. Around the same time she was “visited” by the state Board of Health, and ordered to hand over copies of patient records. From those patient records, many people were stalked by the government, and a few were later used in a lawsuit against her.

Through people connected to this group of patient files (some of whom had already been killed off with chemo in the name of silencing the truth), many slanderous articles began to appear online about Dr. Carpenter. These people were in direct contact with the attorney behind the above mentioned lawsuit, and he was coordinating their postings online. One of these was a YouTube video made by a friend of a chemo murder victim used as an anti Carpenter poster child. Her video was even picked up by the corporate-owned mainstream news when they began to hype the lawsuit, a lawsuit filed by Will Bond, an Arkansas attorney and former State Representative, on behalf of a woman whose cancer had been killed by Dr. Carpenter, but who had been turned down for a full time job with Lase Med and thus had a grudge, and saw a lawsuit as a way to capitalize on what she thought was a “rich” company, even agreeing to have her breasts cut off for the sake of the lawsuit. This person who made the incendiary video, about her friend who was killed with chemo two years after being treated by Dr. Carpenter, and trying to blame the death on Carpenter, was herself a 25 year veteran agent provocateur for the anti abortion movement in Georgia, and a career troublemaker and street theater artist . Between herself and a handful of people she recruited, the internet which had once been full of amazing stories of how she killed people’s cancer, had now become a minefield of slander, half truths, and lies about not only Dr. Carpenter, but her family as well.

This person not only found every website where Carpenter was discussed and between herself and her friends, covered them with slander and lies, but used the Facebook “like” button on Dr. Carpenter’s website to create “target lists” of people listed there before it was privatized, and also went into our personal Facebook pages and did the same with our friend lists, sending mass messages to the effect that we were basically accessories to murder. This did not stop on the internet. The Georgia resident somehow was able to use homeowner records to locate our residence in Oklahoma, and then find contact information for our closest neighbors, who eventually caused neighborhood disturbances, picking fights on our doorstep, vandalizing our property, invading our privacy, even throwing garbage on our lawn. It became a surreal experience that still sounds like an episode of Twilight Zone when I read it. In July of 2015, we lost our companion of ten years, Pokey, a dog we dearly loved, and whom the next door neighbor and her dogs hated with a passion. She occasionally even called the police over his barking. (Documented in above link.) Pokey’s death came slowly after months of uncontrolled weight loss, and to this day I have not dismissed the possibility that he may have been poisoned by her.

The very same month that the frivolous lawsuit was filed in Arkansas (after Dr. Carpenter had relocated to Oklahoma), the University of Arkansas for Medical “Sciences” (UAMS) released a scholarly paper basically plagiarizing much of Carpenter’s work. This would be anything but coincidence considering the fact that UAMS was the very first research hospital she approached with her invention, and they refused to work with her, even though they did offer to “take it off her hands” for a pittance (like Detroit buying a petro-free engine just to shelve it). Incidentally, the doctors who authored the paper, Alexandru Biris and Vladimir Zharov, just happened to be the people Carpenter met with when she approached the research hospital. The scans below are from arkansasbusiness.com which now requires a paid account for viewing.


From the old LaseMedInc.com website’s “Copycats” page:

After a little more than twenty years of trying to figure out and copy the LMI’s technology and methodology, this same Institution is now resorting to not only copying the work already done at other very respected Universities, with the same pitfalls, but it is also claiming ownership of the innovation…
Then, on the 25th of May, 2009, after at least one public discussion about possible patent infringement had already been aired on The Steve Duignan Show, a daily radio broadcast from Fort Smith, Arkansas, and after having spoken with Lase Med Inc. officials, The Arkansas Business Journal released this follow-up story, with a rebuttal from a representative of the UAMS / UALR team, still disseminating the mistaken (or deliberately misrepresented) premise that LMI’s patented methodology incorporates the use of the now infamous “nano structures.” Below are page scans of this article; and below are our responses to the statement issued by the UAMS team’s representative.
• “Lase Med’s procedure is different because it uses a different wavelength and nanotubes with a lesser degree of purity;”
First of all, the range of acceptable wavelengths of LASER light is pretty narrow and quite well defined, if damage to healthy tissue is to be avoided. Consequently UAMS has to use a wavelength falling within the parameters listed in our patent.
Secondly, we do not use carbon nano tubes, because we started our work long before the nano tubes were developed; and by the way, that work was not done at UAMS. The terminology “nano particle” is simply a way to impress the public, even though something scientifically obvious is being discussed.
• “Lase Med does not address the issue of toxicity;”

As stated in our patent, the central issue is to use a chromophore (stain) with a window of absorption which includes the LASER light to be used and which is also non-toxic. We did not use molecular engineering, as in the case of Stanford or Rice University, to develop an adequate stain; we simply used something already in existence and FDA approved for many years.
All of the above work was accomplished years ago, without any grant funding, nor public assistance of any kind, and very little investment capital also. That should conclude the discussion on LASE MED, Inc.’s not conducting toxicity testing.
• “Lase Med is not engaged with the medical community.”
Finally, why should utilizing one MD or more be better than relying on the Patent Holder/ Physicist/ ND? The reasons for Lase Med, Inc.’s not being “engaged” with the medical community are self-evident, and are presented for public review on this page…
The above article also makes brief mention of the “boiling point” which was reached with the medical community in Arkansas, when a full-page ad for Lase Med Inc. appeared in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The resulting attacks and harassment from the medical community, and the subsequent decision to relocate the Lase Med Inc. Treatment Center to the progressive state of Oklahoma, are discussed here.

By 2009, Dr. Carpenter already had a weekly radio show called The Medical Conspiracy, which began on Liberty News Radio, a shortwave-and-stream cast station out of Utah. On her show she talked about the things she was personally witnessing happening to former patients, as well as the coordinated actions of the online detractors being led by the attorney suing her, and most importantly, how it all seemed to happen at the same time, explosively, after years of amazing success stories, as if coordinated by some “higher power” making oncologists target and poison her patients, then trying to use the chemo complication cases against her. We knew it was coordinated, but until 2016 we assumed the Arkansas case had been coordinated by medical-pharma-government collusion within the State of Arkansas. We were wrong. I began appearing on the show with her, first as a “buffoon character” sidekick, and later as myself. Liberty News Radio discontinued her show and several others for what they called financial reasons, even though it followed reports of harassment calls to the station from our outspoken detractors.

Her show was later picked up in  2010 by Orion Talk Radio, a Micro-AM and stream cast station in New York,  which after a few years shut down, coincidentally following another barrage of attack harassment calls from her enemies. During the years at Orion, we made several friends who also had podcast radio shows, and occasionally did shows together. It was through these radio contacts that we met former CIA asset Barbara Hartwell, Howard Nema of Truth Talk News, JJ Freeland, Vince Easley, “Popeye” of FederalJack.com, and several others. It was during the Orion phase of the radio show that, amid the years-ongoing web stalking and harassment of the Georgia woman and her friends, Dr. Carpenter’s clinic, already downsized due to major PR damage done by the perps over 2 to 3 years, and moved to a smaller location in Owasso, Oklahoma, was raided by armed agents of the FDA, and robbed at gunpoint. Below is a playlist of interviews with Dr. Carpenter about the raid, starting with Howard Nema of Truth Talk News, the first venue to cover the story

The raid was carried out through entrapment, by setting up an appointment for a fictitious patient, whose supposed “nephew” (FDA Agent Jeremy Bain) had been making calls for years and sending emails to Dr. Carpenter, for his alleged aunt, who was interested in getting the laser treatment, but in reality was only gathering “electronic evidence” to use against Carpenter. The “evidence” which was presented in conjunction with the raid revealed that this spying operation had begun shortly after the bogus lawsuit in Arkansas.

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FDA Agent Jeremy Bain

After the raid, Lase Med Inc was no more. Depicted on the mainstream news as a fraudulent operation with millions of dollars stashed away somewhere, it was actually a struggling scientist (who had never in her life even SEEN a million dollars) no longer making a living but just trying to get by with minimal staff, having exhausted any savings it ever accumulated to attorney vultures who had one after the other, taken her money and thrown her to the wolves.  The bank account was no longer safe as it was being sucked dry by government meddlers and attorneys, so a safe was kept in the office, which on the day of the raid, contained that month’s payroll and operating expenses. It was also taken by the mob.

Dr. Carpenter lost her home, her furnishings, her car, via a car theft that was never resolved, lost her Astro Van via a “T-bone collision” hit-and-run accident in Owasso that miraculously did not kill her, and moved in with us, while we had to find jobs in the low wage right-to-work “Banana Republic” of Oklahoma. Ever since then life has been a constant battle just trying to keep a roof over our heads and feed three kids, whose lives were turned completely upside down, and who have watched the crumbling of this nation from a very sad and unique vantage point… seeing the grandmother they love and so admire, who came so close to making a positive change in this world, being reduced to a shell of her former self, rendered bereft and barely alive.

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The government’s actions did not end with the 2012 raid. In 2014 Carpenter was brought before a Grand Jury in Oklahoma over charges of “fraud.” My wife and I were also subpoenaed for questioning before the Grand Jury. It was here that I met the Devil’s closest advocate, a man by the name of Ryan Souders. This man was not human by any definition I could muster. He had the eyes of an insect, the demeanor of a bio-mechanoid. (Maybe he was a creation of some Amgen Biotech black-project? Who knows?) It was an experience I will never forget for as long as I shall live. This creature tried to paint a criminal image out of everything I had done for Dr. Carpenter over my years of working for her, picking up archived pages from LaseMedInc.com, putting them in my face, and trying to imply criminality from the fact that some paragraphs had been changed to different wording from their original form (the wording of paragraphs on this blog site has also changed a few times since its creation, and that is not a crime), trying to imply that “The Medical Conspiracy Radio Show” was a “lure being used to suck hapless victims into her fake cancer cure fraud scam,” and trying to criminalize the $300.00 a week that I made working for Dr. Carpenter. He tried to criminalize the fact that Dr. Carpenter told her patients to stay away from chemo all through the dialogue as well. I felt like I had awakened in a “Bizarro-World” where black is white and up is down. I did not leave the stand before reading from an 18-page list of testimonials and comments from cured patients and their families, which they were obliged to enter into “evidence…” and completely ignore.

The Grand Jury rendered an indictment against Dr. Carpenter in August of 2014, sealed it, and presented the indictment in October, based on Souders’ persuasiveness in manipulating jury opinion and distraction from the facts of reality, confirming the adage that a “good” prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich. It was not until two years later, in the final week of the Federal Trial in Tulsa (where Souders was curiously absent for the entire proceeding, as if he had just “moved on…”),  that a close acquaintance who had seen his name on our Medical Conspiracy Facebook Page  tipped me off to the fact that Souders had a LinkedIn page.  If you just clicked that link, you also noticed that the page is offline now. This status change happened two days after my publishing it.

Thank God I had saved it in PDF.

The reason it was taken offline is that it proves that less than a month after Souders got Dr. Carpenter’s indictment, he was hired on by Amgen Biotech as a “legal counsel,” in September 2014. Indictment was sealed in August, Souders was hired by Amgen in September, then the indictment was presented publicly in October.  This “legal” position is mainly concerned with protecting the interests of the pharma giant, which of course translates to revenue, and making sure their criminal profiteering stays within the boundaries of “compliance.” Amgen’s biggest product is Neupogen,

Neupogen pre-filled inj 48 MU_0.5 mL9a5cf9ec-edab-43a6-92f1-9fab001e8bb1

a drug that increases white cell count in chemo patients, which is used by ALL chemo patients, on all types of chemo, allowing them to stay alive longer, to TAKE MORE CHEMO, and make more revenue for the pharma giants. Dr. Carpenter was at the forefront of the ANTI CHEMO movement. Amgen has BILLIONS invested in making sure that chemotherapy remains the only legally valid option for cancer treatment. The day that something “better than chemo” becomes the new accepted standard will be the day that Amgen goes under. All the new “advancements in cancer treatment” being hyped in the media today are nothing more than new forms of the same old thing, chemo… and new drugs to take with chemo.

The drug companies create cancer, they own the means of production for the disease, and they own the means of production for the accepted “treatments.” They have the FDA in place to make sure that anyone who interferes with that equation is publically crucified on the altar of false justice.

A perusal of Souders’ LinkedIn page also revealed a history of defending Medical and Pharma corporations’ financial interests. It revealed that before becoming a US Attorney, he had defended WebMD’s Medical Manager Corp against moneylaundering charges, and won the case. It also revealed that his move from Virginia to Oklahoma coincided perfectly with the timeline of the FDA’s surveillance operation against Carpenter, and makes note of the fact that among his duties were “instructing Federal Agents on how to gather electronic evidence,” as well as “the misbranding of drugs and medical devices.” If you read some of the other articles I have linked in the main menu of this blog site, you will see that Amgen Biotech has first-hand experience with charges of “misbranding drugs,” as they were found guilty of it in 2012 and barely got a slap on the wrist for it. Souders was brought to Oklahoma to bring Carpenter down, he spent 4 years doing it, and then he immediately sauntered straight into a cushy ready-made position  with Amgen’s legal department.

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And false justice it was. By any measure of the preponderance of evidence, Dr. Carpenter WON THAT TRIAL. The prosecution presented seven witnesses, five of whom were spouses of people killed by chemo (which had to be brought out in cross examination of course) who had been to Dr. Carpenter years prior, as well as an oncologist who admitted under cross exam, after invoking the 5th Amendment, that in a pretrial conversation with prosecutors, he had told them that he didn’t recall all the details of the case in question, but that his memory of the case would greatly improve depending on how much he was paid. The defense brought two laser experts, one an expert in laser cancer therapy from Dartmouth, who verified the validity of Carpenter’s treatment, the other brought in as a prosecution witness by FDA in hopes of debunking Dr. Carpenter’s “junk science,” and taken off their witness list once her findings matched Carpenter’s, and twelve healthy former patients (outnumbering the cases used by prosecution by nearly two to one) who had been cancer free for at least 8 years since Dr. Carpenter’s treatment. The difference? They stayed away from chemo. Evidence like this is very harmful to a mega giant like Amgen, so heavily invested into the preservation of deadly chemotherapy as the ONLY acceptable means for treating cancer, and this and other articles on the blog site are here to illustrate the level of obscene power held by this company. Squashing a little alternative clinic like a bug, killing a handful of patients to “prove” a point, buying off witnesses, buying off government officials, putting a “ringer” attorney on the jury as foreman (yes, they did)…

All in a days work, when you are one of the richest and most powerful companies on Earth.

What Ryan Souders did, and what this company did through him, are nothing less than criminal acts.

COLLUSION
CONSPIRACY
CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Please join our voices and speak out against this type of criminal collusion and abuse! Dr. Carpenter is to be sentenced in May. We have only a short time!

Write to the judge and voice your anger and concerns. Demand a retrial in the face of this gross miscarriage. Dr. Carpenter’s attorney has requested we have responses sent to him so that he can present them to the judge together. Send letters or emails to:

Judge James H. Payne / case 14-CR-135-JHP
c/o Rob Ridenour
1 West 3rd Street
Suite 1225
Tulsa, OK, 74103
Email: ROB_RIDENOUR@FD.ORG

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Why Do People Think US Health Care is Corrupt? – The Examples of Amgen, Mallinckrodt Settling Charges of Giving Kickbacks to Doctors to Induce them to Prescribe Their Products, While No Individual Suffers Negative Consequences

by ,   July 25, 2013

 

We recently posted a discussion of the results of Transparency International’s 2013 corruption barometer, focusing on the US results.  43% of survey respondents thought US health care is corrupt.  Our coverage, apparently the only substantial discussion of the US results published in the US, got star ranking for a whileon Reddit.  But many anonymous commentators dismissed the survey results as coming from a naive public who does not understand health care economics.

I submit that one can recognize corruption without a degree in economics.  In fact, as we discussed in the initial post, there is a lot of evidence for the prevalence of health care corruption in the US, other developed countries, and globally.  It is just that such evidence rarely gets discussed in public (the anechoic effect, as we say on this blog), probably because doing so might make those who are profiting from the corruption uncomfortable.

So today let me summarize just the latest evidence about US health care corruption, as defined by Transparency International as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.  (Note that the Transparency International definition of corruption, which is an ethical, not necessarily a legal definition, at least in most jurisdictions.)

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Over 62K signed our petition calling on Amgen’s CEO to stop ripping off Medicare

PUBLISHED BY US ACTION.ORG
ARTICLE BY ROSS WALLEN, 
MARCH 7, 2013

Amgen

As Congress came to a last minute deal over the so-called “fiscal cliff,” every penny of spending was on the chopping block — including benefit cuts to Medicare and Social Security. And all in the name of supposed “deficit reduction.”

So why on earth, when earned benefits and vital programs for working families were on the chopping block — did pharmaceutical giant Amgen end up with a $500 million giveaway from Medicare?

In our joint petition with Progressives United, 62,124 people signed to call on Amgen Chairman and CEO Robert Bradway to give back the $500 million in taxpayer dollars his company unfairly received at tax payer expense. With over 23,000 coming from USAction members alone!

And the petition also received press coverage, with a great piece in the Huffington Post, linked at the bottom.1

Your signatures were then delivered to Amgen’s Chairman and CEO Robert Bradway, but we have yet to hear a response back.

It is outrageous that in a time of fiscal austerity, where everyone is being asked to tighten their belts and make do with less, that we would gift a Fortune 500 company with a $500 million pay day.

Amgen, which recently pleaded guilty for misbranding a drug and was subsequently fined for $762 million, has a clear motive to steal back taxpayer money from Medicare by slipping in a provision favoring one of its drugs.1

And just how was Amgen able to get away with plundering the public coffers? Amgen’s strategy to achieve this sweetheart deal is the perfect example of corruption that permeates throughout Washington.

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Russ Feingold’s Progressives United Launches Petition Against Amgen’s Fiscal Cliff Deal

By  Luke Johnson Politics Reporter, The Huffington Post
Jan 31, 2013

Former Sen. Russ Feingold’s (D-Wis.) non-profit group, Progressives United, launched a petition Tuesday criticizing the pharmaceutical company Amgen for successfully lobbying to get a provision favoring one of its drugs, which could cost taxpayers up to $500 million, added to the “fiscal cliff” deal.

The petition calls for Amgen to give back the $500 million. “Thanks to more than 30,000 of your fellow progressives, our petition is taking off, even garnering national media attention to shine a bright spotlight on Amgen’s overreach,” wrote the group’s executive director, Cole Leystra, in an email to supporters. “But Amgen still has an army of back-door lobbyists ready to quiet opposition and shell out targeted campaign contributions.”

The New York Times reported on Jan. 19 that Amgen, through its aggressive lobbying efforts, won a provision delaying Medicare price controls for two years on a class of drugs that includes Sensipar, an Amgen drug for kidney dialysis patients. Amgen has 74 lobbyists and financial ties to Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah.)

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Senators’ secret plan to give Amgen half a billion in fiscal cliff deal reveals Capitol Hill’s ‘sordid swamp’

The inauguration of a president is one of those spectacles of democracy that can make us remember we’re part of something big and enduring. So for a few hours this past Monday the pomp and circumstance inspired us to think that government of, by, and for the people really is just that, despite the predatory threats that stalk it.

But the mood didn’t last. Every now and then, as the cameras panned upward, the Capitol dome towering over the ceremony was a reminder of something the good feeling of the moment couldn’t erase. It’s the journalist’s curse to have a good time spoiled by the reality beyond the pageantry. Just a couple of days before the inaugural festivities, The New York Times published some superb investigative reporting by the team of Eric Lipton and Kevin Sack, and their revelations were hard to forget, even at a time of celebration.

The story told us of a pharmaceutical giant called Amgen and three senators so close to it they might as well be entries on its balance sheet: Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), Democratic Senator Max Baucus (MT), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and that powerful committee’s ranking Republican, Orrin Hatch (UT). A trio of perpetrators who treat the United States Treasury as if it were a cash-and-carry annex of corporate America.

 The Times story described how Amgen got a huge hidden gift from unnamed members of Congress and their staffers. They slipped an eleventh hour loophole into the New Year’s Eve deal that kept the government from going over the fiscal cliff. When the sun rose in the morning, there it was, a richly embroidered loophole for Amgen that will cost taxpayers a cool half a billion dollars.

Amgen is the world’s largest biotechnology firm, a drug maker that sells a variety of medications. The little clause secretly sneaked into the fiscal cliff bill gives the company two more years of relief from Medicare cost controls for certain drugs used by patients who are on kidney dialysis, including a pill called Sensipar, manufactured by Amgen.

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Amgen Agrees to Pay $762 Million for Marketing Anemia Drug for Off-Label Use

DEC. 18, 2012

The biotechnology giant Amgen marketed its anemia drug Aranesp for unapproved uses even after the Food and Drug Administration explicitly ruled them out, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The federal charges were made public as Amgen pleaded guilty to illegally marketing the drug and agreed to pay $762 million in criminal penalties and settlements of whistle-blower lawsuits.

Amgen was “pursuing profits at the risk of patient safety,” Marshall L. Miller, acting United States attorneyin Brooklyn, said in a telephone news briefing on Tuesday.

David J. Scott, Amgen’s general counsel, entered the guilty plea at the United States District Court in Brooklyn to a single misdemeanor count of misbranding the drug, Aranesp, meaning selling it for uses not approved by the F.D.A.

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See No Evil: How Too-Detailed Expense Reports Allegedly Got an Amgen Sales Rep Fired

Published by CBS NEWS
By   JIM EDWARDS    MONEYWATCH    March 21, 2011, 7:45 AM

 

see-no-evil-hear-no-evil-speak-no-evil-2
Amgen
(AMGN) fired a sales rep because he was too detailed on his expense reports, according to a lawsuit filed in a California state court. The case isn’t just about expense reports, of course. Rather, as a former Amgen employee alleges, it’s about what Amgen’s management knows and doesn’t want to know about how its salesforce promotes the kidney drugAranesp. Amgen denies the claims and is fighting the case.

Expense reports are the rabbit holes of corporate life: Each one tells a story in which the author arranges a narrative of events in the most convincing way possible. Of course those apple martinis were work-related! Normally, accounts payable departments are eager for as much detail as possible on employees’ expense reports in order to ensure staffers aren’t subsidizing their personal lives with the company dime. Similarly, anyone who racks up personal expenses paying for work-related stuff knows that it’s wise to document everything in order not to subsidize your employer.

Ignorance is bliss
Except, that is, at Amgen, according to former sales rep Donald Hanks.

Hanks worked for Amgen between 1989 and 2007, and claims the company uses a variety of illegal methods to promote Aranesp, including rebates, off-invoice discounts, volume discounts, free goods, extravagant dinners and lavish retreats for doctors. The company also allegedly priced its drugs so that a “margin” or “spread” accrued to doctors or hospitals — all of which are potential violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, Hanks claims.

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