A Pest in Pennsylvania
Allen Jones had had an uneventful career working as an investigator for the Office of Inspector General in Pennsylvania. But in July 2002, he noticed that a new account had been set up to receive payments from the Janssen division of Johnson & Johnson. What was that for?
The bank account, he was told, was meant to cover travel expenses for health department officials so that they could examine a program that their colleagues in Texas had told them about. It seemed like a promising way to create modern prescription guidelines for Pennsylvania’s use of antipsychotic drugs in state mental institutions and among Medicaid patients, including children, the officials explained to Jones.
By September 2002, Jones says, he was "pretty sure something was wrong here." One of the state's pharmacists, he found, had been accepting speaking fees in addition to travel expenses. J&J was also paying to reimburse state employees for conducting seminars about the program throughout the state. By October, Jones had confirmed that the program--called PMAP in Pennsylvania, just as it had been called TMAP in Texas--was going to start using the guidelines, called algorithms, in January.
Jones began pestering state bureaucrats about why they were switching to all of these more expensive drugs, and why were they allowing prescriptions to people who had never been given medication before. Frustrated at being stiff-armed and told by his bosses to confine his investigation to the pharmacist who seemed to have taken personal fees and not reported them, he was soon taken off the assignment, and, he claims, “given a desk completely out of the way, with nothing to do.”
Jones didn't waste his spare time. He began copying documents to take home. And he began thinking about finding a lawyer.
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To read Chapter 6 in its entirety and view the accompanying materials online, visit The Huffington Post: Highline website: http://huff.to/1NyxH6s.