Former psychiatrist Michael Reinstein, MD, of Chicago, is expected to plead guilty Friday to taking kickbacks from drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals in exchange for writing prescriptions for its antipsychotic medication, according to investigative journalism outfit ProPublica. The charge is a federal felony.
ProPublica describes the former doctor as “the nation's top prescriber” of clozapine, which is “considered particularly risky in elderly patients.” Reinstein told the Chicago Tribune that the money he received from the drug manufacturer was for lectures he had delivered, notes the ProPublica article, by Charles Ornstein.
Highlights of the Reinstein/Teva relationship as described in the article:
- The Friday arraignment is in relation to a charge of accepting $2,000 from Teva in 2009. The charge was brought by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
- In 2009, ProPublica and the Tribune reported that Reinstein prescribed more clozapine to Illinois Medicaid beneficiaries than all Medicaid physicians in Texas, Florida and North Carolina combined.
- In 2012, the U.S. government filed a civil lawsuit against Reinstein, saying that he accepted kickbacks from drug companies and submitted a minimum of 14,000 false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for antipsychotic drugs prescribed to thousands of mentally ill nursing home residents.
- In 2014, Illinois indefinitely suspended Reinstein’s medical license.
- Also in 2014, Teva agreed to a $28 million settlement to address state and federal allegations of paying Reinstein to prescribe its drug.