Serono Lawsuit

A forum to discuss Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency and its relationship to Multiple Sclerosis.

Postby 1eye » Tue May 10, 2011 7:55 am

If members of some profession get bad press for something, another solution besides denial or suppressing the story, which is only more formal denial, that might be better in the long run for both appearances and reputations of both individuals and groups, is to STOP DOING IT.
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Postby EJC » Tue May 10, 2011 8:25 am

Funny thing Libel, the threat alone can be enough to scare people to remove statements (even true statements) as the defendant in a libel case has no upside. There are no damages for the defendant if proved right.

Here in the UK they are trying to address this situation with no win no fee lawyers for libel defendants - makes cases like this more difficult and imposes punitive costs on the plaintiff.

Can we have a spread bet on when this thread will be removed?

I'm buying all the hours before 12:00am BST today.
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Postby 1eye » Tue May 10, 2011 10:39 am

Here's one I didn't write:

Cheerleader targeted
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 10:22am

This is cut and pasted so you won't have to click to another page. I did not write it.

A non-profit organization supporting research into multiple sclerosis that was linked in a lawsuit to an alleged “money laundering thing” at Serono Labs sent a cease-and-desist memo to an M.S. activist, demanding she take down information about the case from her Facebook page. The activist, TV and movie soundtrack singer Joan Beal, told BNET she complied because, “I don’t have the stomach for it.”



It’s another example of the way managers are turning to attorneys when debates in the healthcare business get rough. Bayer (BAYRY) recently lost a legal case in Switzerland in which it tried to stop TV reports about deaths associated with its Yaz contraceptive. And GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) once employed a top R&D exec to contact scientists engaged in independent research on its troubled diabetes drug, Avandia, to tell them it was “not [in] anyone’s best interest.”



In the Serono case, the company paid $44.3 million to settle allegations with the Department of Justice that it “funneled” kickbacks to doctors through the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Clinics, a non-profit group. The alleged kickbacks rewarded them for prescribing Rebif, Serono’s M.S. drug, and CMSC took a cut of the money it passed on, the suit claimed.



The CMSC was not named as a defendant in the suit. Its lawyer, John Edwards, denies the charity did anything wrong. His email to Beal stated in part:



Your Facebook page contains libelous statements concerning the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers. It also contains a link to “freepdfhosting.com%2F543bcc781b.pdf&h=f2fcd,” which itself contains a United States District Court complaint THAT WAS FILED UNDER SEAL.



That complaint includes libelous and false statements. The party who allegedly made the statements has denied them.



This firm has been retained by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers to defend its rights and to seek damages.



Demand is hereby made that you immediately remove the libelous materials from your page, and cause the pdf complaint to be removed from all places in which you have posted it.



(The full text of the email is reproduced after the “related stories” list, below.)



No liability admitted



The complaint was unsealed after the settlement, in which Serono denied the allegations and did not admit liability.



Beal expressed concern to BNET over a potential for a conflict of interest between CMSC and Serono. CMSC runs the North American Research Committee on M.S., which collects and studies data about the disease. It is funded by Serono, among other donors.



Beal’s group, CCSVI, takes the view that the cause of M.S. isn’t a degenerative brain disorder but obstructed jugular veins slowing bloodflow from the brain. Venous obstructions can be treated with angioplasty and stents. Beal’s husband, Jeff, has M.S. which she believes is in remission due to venous stents.



Edwards, the CMSC lawyer, said that the allegation in the case that a Serono executive said “we have a whole money-laundering thing going on” with CMSC was false: “There’s no way in the world [CMSC] was involved in any way in money laundering.”



*No relation



Related:



* How M.S. Drugs Are Promoted: “We Have a Whole Money Laundering Thing Going On”



Text of email sent to Joan Beal:



Your Facebook page contains libelous statements concerning the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers. It also contains a link to “freepdfhosting.com%2F543bcc781b.pdf&h=f2fcd,” which itself contains a United States District Court complaint THAT WAS FILED UNDER SEAL.



That complaint includes libelous and false statements. The party who allegedly made the statements has denied them.



This firm has been retained by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers to defend its rights and to seek damages.



Demand is hereby made that you immediately remove the libelous materials from your page, and cause the pdf complaint to be removed from all places in which you have posted it. You are further directed to inform the undersigned when this has been accomplished. However, if you are represented by counsel in this matter, it is your counsel who should contact us.



This demand is sent with a full reservation of all of our client’s rights and remedies, both legal and equitable. These remedies will include, but not be limited to, the economic harm you have caused to our client.



John R. Edwards, Jr., Esq.

Price, Meese, Shulman & D’Arminio, P.C.

Mack-Cali Corporate Center

50 Tice Boulevard

Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey 07677

201-391-3737 (fax 201-391-9360)

jedwards@pricemeese.com


***********************************************
**********************************************************************************************
OK you can stop reading now, the rest is all me

Note how often the words 'deny' and 'admit' appear above. You would think someone had been accused of something. If nobody is liable, that is a legal construct that doesn't say anything about whether somebody is guilty or innocent. The morality of the thing is for the public (at least) to be the judge of. Such treatment of Joan Beal will not benefit anyone, least of all doctors working for charitable organizations, or even Serono. As is universally true, lawyers will bill. My wife used to work in a place that had a picture on the wall, of a farmer and his wife pulling hard on the tail and horns of a cow, while a lawyer sat in the middle milking away.

What did they give all those millions for, if they are going to be judged anyway, by the unwashed Faceliterati?

More to the point, if I were a faceless corporation that had oodles of spare cash, and Mr. Amato had no case, I would certainly not settle and give the US and Mr. Amato each a bag of it. Good thing I'm not a CEO, isn't it?

There is the issue of accepting bribes, and there is the issue of paying them, and there is the issue of demanding them. Who did what, seems a rather important question to me, and I bet there are others who share that opinion, maybe on Facebook.
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Postby CureIous » Tue May 10, 2011 5:58 pm

1eye wrote:Here's one I didn't write:

Cheerleader targeted
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 10:22am

This is cut and pasted so you won't have to click to another page. I did not write it.

A non-profit organization supporting research into multiple sclerosis that was linked in a lawsuit to an alleged “money laundering thing” at Serono Labs sent a cease-and-desist memo to an M.S. activist, demanding she take down information about the case from her Facebook page. The activist, TV and movie soundtrack singer Joan Beal, told BNET she complied because, “I don’t have the stomach for it.”



It’s another example of the way managers are turning to attorneys when debates in the healthcare business get rough. Bayer (BAYRY) recently lost a legal case in Switzerland in which it tried to stop TV reports about deaths associated with its Yaz contraceptive. And GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) once employed a top R&D exec to contact scientists engaged in independent research on its troubled diabetes drug, Avandia, to tell them it was “not [in] anyone’s best interest.”



In the Serono case, the company paid $44.3 million to settle allegations with the Department of Justice that it “funneled” kickbacks to doctors through the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Clinics, a non-profit group. The alleged kickbacks rewarded them for prescribing Rebif, Serono’s M.S. drug, and CMSC took a cut of the money it passed on, the suit claimed.



The CMSC was not named as a defendant in the suit. Its lawyer, John Edwards, denies the charity did anything wrong. His email to Beal stated in part:



Your Facebook page contains libelous statements concerning the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers. It also contains a link to “freepdfhosting.com%2F543bcc781b.pdf&h=f2fcd,” which itself contains a United States District Court complaint THAT WAS FILED UNDER SEAL.



That complaint includes libelous and false statements. The party who allegedly made the statements has denied them.



This firm has been retained by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers to defend its rights and to seek damages.



Demand is hereby made that you immediately remove the libelous materials from your page, and cause the pdf complaint to be removed from all places in which you have posted it.



(The full text of the email is reproduced after the “related stories” list, below.)



No liability admitted



The complaint was unsealed after the settlement, in which Serono denied the allegations and did not admit liability.



Beal expressed concern to BNET over a potential for a conflict of interest between CMSC and Serono. CMSC runs the North American Research Committee on M.S., which collects and studies data about the disease. It is funded by Serono, among other donors.



Beal’s group, CCSVI, takes the view that the cause of M.S. isn’t a degenerative brain disorder but obstructed jugular veins slowing bloodflow from the brain. Venous obstructions can be treated with angioplasty and stents. Beal’s husband, Jeff, has M.S. which she believes is in remission due to venous stents.



Edwards, the CMSC lawyer, said that the allegation in the case that a Serono executive said “we have a whole money-laundering thing going on” with CMSC was false: “There’s no way in the world [CMSC] was involved in any way in money laundering.”



*No relation



Related:



* How M.S. Drugs Are Promoted: “We Have a Whole Money Laundering Thing Going On”



Text of email sent to Joan Beal:



Your Facebook page contains libelous statements concerning the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers. It also contains a link to “freepdfhosting.com%2F543bcc781b.pdf&h=f2fcd,” which itself contains a United States District Court complaint THAT WAS FILED UNDER SEAL.



That complaint includes libelous and false statements. The party who allegedly made the statements has denied them.



This firm has been retained by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers to defend its rights and to seek damages.



Demand is hereby made that you immediately remove the libelous materials from your page, and cause the pdf complaint to be removed from all places in which you have posted it. You are further directed to inform the undersigned when this has been accomplished. However, if you are represented by counsel in this matter, it is your counsel who should contact us.



This demand is sent with a full reservation of all of our client’s rights and remedies, both legal and equitable. These remedies will include, but not be limited to, the economic harm you have caused to our client.



John R. Edwards, Jr., Esq.

Price, Meese, Shulman & D’Arminio, P.C.

Mack-Cali Corporate Center

50 Tice Boulevard

Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey 07677

201-391-3737 (fax 201-391-9360)

jedwards@pricemeese.com


***********************************************
**********************************************************************************************
OK you can stop reading now, the rest is all me

Note how often the words 'deny' and 'admit' appear above. You would think someone had been accused of something. If nobody is liable, that is a legal construct that doesn't say anything about whether somebody is guilty or innocent. The morality of the thing is for the public (at least) to be the judge of. Such treatment of Joan Beal will not benefit anyone, least of all doctors working for charitable organizations, or even Serono. As is universally true, lawyers will bill. My wife used to work in a place that had a picture on the wall, of a farmer and his wife pulling hard on the tail and horns of a cow, while a lawyer sat in the middle milking away.

What did they give all those millions for, if they are going to be judged anyway, by the unwashed Faceliterati?

More to the point, if I were a faceless corporation that had oodles of spare cash, and Mr. Amato had no case, I would certainly not settle and give the US and Mr. Amato each a bag of it. Good thing I'm not a CEO, isn't it?

There is the issue of accepting bribes, and there is the issue of paying them, and there is the issue of demanding them. Who did what, seems a rather important question to me, and I bet there are others who share that opinion, maybe on Facebook.


Here is the link to the CBS article:
MS charity wants money laundering allegation scrubbed from facebook
<shortened url>

This showed up in my inbox via google news alerts (keyword: ccsvi) which I recommend everyone get, if you don't live on the internet 24/7 and cannot stay updated on the constantly changing landscape.

That being said, how ironic that CBS is all over the controversy sells angle here, (warned and warned about the media, they give with one hand and take away with the other), and are the same news organization that couldn't air the Joan/Jeff Beal interview last year, and make no mistake about it, the billions involved in the pharmaceutical industry far outweigh anything we are involved in, and yet, here they are, all dressed up for the party and on time. How quaint.

Yet, all this was dismissed as mere conspiracy nonsense in 2009, why, pharmaceuticals are just out to make a profit like every other corporation, don't knock em, they do good, there's no conspiracy, well of course there isn't.

There's just some very big companies with billions of dollars at their immediate disposal, a phalanx of lawyers that get paid good money to talk tough, and then us, the pesky little flys still buzzing about the internets. Though they have a mighty large flyswatter, and wield it almost without reservation nor consequence, we just multiply oh about every 48 hours or so.

They will make this very very difficult, money equals control. People and corporations with money, like to control things, it's just the nature of the beast. I'd proffer that they consider it a God given right to have the control go hand in hand with the money.

Make no mistake about it, we are being branded as we speak. This will turn into some lame argument against the CCSVI cult on Facebook. THAT will get plenty of airplay.

Dump all the science by the wayside for now, politics and media and money has taken over. Hello inertia.


Remember this discussion from 2009? http://www.thisisms.com/ftopicp-83286-c ... html#83286

"Conspiracy theories about evil neurologists and pharmaceutical companies"? Why, how ridiculous!
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Postby Cece » Tue May 10, 2011 6:57 pm

Does anyone have a copy of the pdf of the complaint? I haven't read through everything, it seemed complex, but now I am thinking I would like to.

Can't believe they'd send a lawyer after Joan Beal for posting the truth.
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Postby Trish317 » Tue May 10, 2011 7:32 pm

Cece wrote:Does anyone have a copy of the pdf of the complaint? I haven't read through everything, it seemed complex, but now I am thinking I would like to.

Can't believe they'd send a lawyer after Joan Beal for posting the truth.


There's a link to it on Marc's most recent blog.

http://www.wheelchairkamikaze.com/

Here's the pdf of the complaint. Maybe they'll try sending lawyers after all of us....

http://freepdfhosting.com/543bcc781b.pdf
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Postby muse » Tue May 10, 2011 7:35 pm

Hi Cece, unfortunately I haven’t saved the entire mess of the UCOIDG = "unnamed collective of inflammatory disease groups" – Here some “leftovers”:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ms. H... of the “UCOIDG” was consulted to handle the "money laundering" for these doctors. The consortium was paid $30,000---5,000 was kept as a "donation" and the rest was given to Dr. B….

Ms. H… and the “UCOIDG” had previously funneled money for BIG PHARMA/S bribes to Dr. D. M….

Mr. F. T...., BIG PHARMA/S employee stated to Mr Amato, "We have a whole money-laundering thing going on with Ms H...."

Dr. D. Mi….. is still a practicing neurologist, treating pwMS in Ann Arbor, MI.

Ms. H… is STILL at the “UCOIDG” as Executive Director---she is a certified adult nurse practitioner who has specialized in MS since 1978. She was a founder of the MS Center in T..., NJ and was the Executive Director from its founding in 1985 to 2008. Ms. H… was president of the “UCOIDG” from 1995-97 and has been the Executive Director since 1997.

Dr. B.. of the Rocky Mountain MS Center (2003-2007) requested payment of $25,000 to prescribe Rebif.
He had been previously paid $25,000 from BIG PHARMA/S representatives, and also asked BIG PHARMA/S to purchase 200 copies of the MS book he had authored for $19.95 a copy. Payment to Dr. B.... was discussed, as how to "funnel" money to this doctor.

Dr. B... is now Medical Director of the MS Service and Director of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Service at a Neurological Institute in C.. He is also Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology at a University in C. & he still treats pwMS!!!


-------------------------SHOOT THE BASTARDS!-------------------------
Last edited by muse on Tue May 10, 2011 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cece » Tue May 10, 2011 7:42 pm

thanks trish & muse
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next?

Postby 1eye » Wed May 11, 2011 9:32 am

I suppose some unnamed people are saving some kind of special lawyerly treat for me. And I thought I had headaches before. Note the transition, folks, from doctors to caregivers, and who is next in line? Have patience?

I think we all know about an unnamed organization that is having a meeting coming up in the next month. Maybe people should vote loudly with their feet to show disapproval of this type of thing. If anyone wants to pass this on to the Facebook crowd, they are free to do so.
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Mire on Serono Rebif suit

Postby dianabee » Wed May 11, 2011 11:53 am

http://www.milfordbeacon.com/newsnow/x1 ... EMD-Serono

So now the states attys. General are grabbing at that 44mil...
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Postby cheerleader » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:46 am

thanks to Jim Edwards for staying on this story....
there's more:

click on the link to the story to have all of Jim Edward's links....it's very interesting.
link to article on CBS business news

Why an M.S. Drugmaker Took 2 Weeks to Disclose Its CEO Had Quit

Multiple sclerosis drugmaker EMD Serono has a new CEO, James Hoyes, which isn’t news until you ask what happened to the old CEO. Former CEO Fereydoun Firouz resigned sometime before May 3, but the company didn’t tell anyone outside the building until it published this May 20 press release.

It was almost as if Serono was unprepared when Firouz suddenly “independently decided to pursue other professional opportunities,” as the statement put it. The company didn’t quote Firouz even though he had been with the company for two decades.

In an unfortunate coincidence, Firouz’s departure came 24 hours before Serono agreed to pay a $44 million settlement in a case in which it had been accused of using an M.S. charity as a “money laundering thing” that funneled kickbacks to doctors who prescribed a lot of its M.S. drug, Rebif. The charity then sent cease-and-desist letters to an M.S. activist who used her Facebook page to highlight the allegations. Firouz was not personally accused of any wrongdoing.

Feyrouz became CEO in 2003. Serono said:

During his tenure as President and CEO of EMD Serono, Mr. Firouz tripled the revenues and capabilities of the US organization, instilling pride, integrity and purpose amongst the employee base with a focus on advancing science and medicine, impacting the health of patients, being a leader and contributing to society in a meaningful way.

Another “meaningful way” that Firouz tripled his revenues was by illegally promoting human growth hormone to AIDS patients for unapproved “off-label” uses. In 2005, the company paid $705 million to make the case go away. That settlement excluded Serono from receiving revenue from Medicare and Medicaid, and put the company under a five-year corporate integrity agreement. The more recent “money laundering thing” extended the CIA another three years.

Perhaps Hoyes will have more luck during his tenure. He has already promised to be more transparent about Serono’s payments to doctors.
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Postby David1949 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:20 pm

Since you bring up the Open Secrets website here is an interesting page for the 2008 presidential candidates.
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/select.php?ind=H04
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