(The Best Years in Life)
The scariest part of cancer is the
treatments which have become the
standard of care. In fact, many people
who have been diagnosed with cancer
during routine screenings feel just fine
until they begin surgery, chemotherapy
and radiation. Of these three,
chemotherapy is the worst because in
addition to vomiting and hair loss,
chemo destroys organ function and leads
to more dangerous cancer bred from stem
cells. So we have come to think that any
doctor prescribing chemotherapy to a
patient would do so only with great care
and as a last resort. However the
sentencing this month of oncologist Dr.
Farid Fata has shattered that illusion.
who is also a hematologist, has admitted that he purposefully misdiagnosed
patients as having cancer when in fact they did not, so that he could administer
chemotherapy and other treatments to them and collect money for it. According to
NBC news, the estimated number of needless injections and infusions he
perpetrated on his patients was a whopping 9000.
most egregious conflict of interest takes place in the oncologist’s offices
many years oncologists have been buying chemotherapy drugs wholesale and selling
them at retail to their patients, right in their offices. At first this added to
their incomes only modestly. However in the 1980s and 1990s, the increase in new
and astronomically expensive chemo drugs made it a very lucrative practice.
Today, the chemo costs can run in excess of $10,000 a month for a single
patient. If the doctor has a thriving practice, the take can be substantial. And
if patients who do not have cancer are told that they do and sold chemotherapy
drugs by their doctor, the profits to that doctor can truly be a windfall.
Private insurers have little choice but to pay up for what a doctor prescribes.
The result is fatter pockets for doctors and higher premiums for anyone paying
for insurance. The medium compensation for oncologists in 2011 was $430,695
according to the Medical Group Management Association.
fact that oncologists sell chemo drugs at a profit directly to their patients
leads to the prescribing of the most costly medications available, regardless of
medical need. “The more expensive the drug, the more profit you make,” reported
Dr. Peter Bach, director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to National Journal. “We created this
problem,” he said.
Doctors in almost every other specialty write prescriptions, hand them to their
patients, and tell them to get it filled at a drugstore. This method avoids
conflicts of interest.
Fata, he just received a sentence of 45 years in prison for the fraudulent
behavior of selling chemo to patients who didn’t need it. His total scamming of
Medicare and private insurance companies amounted to more than $34 million in
was arrested after three years of investigation that culminated with another
cancer center becoming suspicious about his excessive use of the most aggressive
and expensive chemo drugs. He pled guilty to 13 counts of healthcare fraud which
included accepting kickbacks, and money laundering.
practice was neither small nor atypical. He was the head of Michigan Hematology
Oncology, one of the state’s largest private cancer networks. One of his nurses
who blew the whistle on him said he was able treat up to a dozen patients with
chemo at any given time.
means that any cancer diagnosis is suspect, and makes learning how to protect
yourself from cancer and treat it naturally even more important than ever.
Barbara is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy, and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife's Health Secrets Newsletter.
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