Jim Edwards over at Bnet is reporting that Dr. Maria Carmen Palazzo, a crooked doctor, was yesterday sent to prison for the role she played in conducting fraudulent clinical trials.
Neworleans.com takes up the story:
DR. MARIA CARMEN PALAZZO, age 58, pled guilty in federal court today before U. S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon to fifteen (15) counts of failing to prepare and maintain records, with intent to defraud and mislead, in connection with clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Paxil in children and adolescents with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, PALAZZO, who specialized in psychiatry, was a clinical investigator for SmithKline Beecham d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline, was involved in two clinical trials evaluating Paxil's safety and effectiveness in children and adolescents. Some of the study records indicated that PALAZZO included psychiatric diagnoses inconsistent with patients' psychiatric histories; prepared multiple psychiatric evaluations on study patients which contained different diagnoses and treatment plans; reported symptoms of OCD when PALAZZO knew that the study subject did not demonstrate such symptoms; and reported that PALAZZO examined study subjects when she had not.
PALAZZO is currently serving an 87 month prison sentence after being convicted of 39 counts of health care fraud following a 12-day trial in April 2008. In the instant case, PALAZZO was sentenced to thirteen (13) months in prison to run concurrent to the previous sentence as well as serve one (1) year of supervised release during which time she will be under federal supervision and risk additional imprisonment should she violate any rules of the release. Additionally, PALAZZO was ordered to pay restitution to GlaxoSmithKline in the amount of $91,824 and $1,500 in special assessments.
To be honest, it would appear that Palazzo has taken the heat for GlaxoSmithKline here. Yes, she deserves to rot in a cell for hiding and manipulating data but one has to ask why she did it. Was she prompted to manipulate the data in such a way that made Paxil [UK brand name, Seroxat] appear safe and effective in children?
It's a start I suppose and one that will no doubt have other Glaxo hired guns quaking in their boots. It hopefully should give Glaxo execs sleepless nights too. Maybe at some point they will be hauled in front of the courts and asked to explain why they did not alert people to raised suicide risks associated with Paxil.
They should start with JP Garnier. Here's an interview with him from a couple of years ago. You will note his denial about the whole Paxil cover-up. Play to the end and hear Garnier throw a hissy fit and leave the interview in a huff.
Edwards has pulled some documents from the trial, some of which can be seen by visiting the bnet website.
ORDER THE PAPERBACK
'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman
SIGNED COPIES HERE OR UNSIGNED FROM CHIPMUNKA PUBLISHING