A child heart specialist in Atlanta has changed his "Not Guilty" plea to "Guilty" in a case that involved the physician providing confidential patient information to a drug company salesman for fun and profit.
Yes, Doctor Eduardo Montana confessed in Boston Federal Court this week that he illegally gave the private medical records of hundreds of children to a sales representative employed by Aegerion Pharmaceuticals - a Massachusetts-based drug cartel, in 2016. The drug salesman would then study the medical histories of the children so that he could tell the corrupt doctor how to prescribe one of his company's favored drugs - Juxtapid, which costs patients nearly $300 per bottle. The fact that the children would not benefit from the drug - and might actually be harmed - was ignored because, by God, there was money to be made.
Juxtapid is only appropriately used to treat adults diagnosed with high levels of cholesterol. The Food & Drug Administration has never agreed that the drug is safe for children. Even knowing this, Montana and the drug company were working secretly to prescribe Justapid to kids with no cholesterol problems at all.
The prosecution was able to prove that the dangerous doctor gave Aegerion a list of 280 patients in 2013. The list included names and dates of birth - clearly documenting that the patients - the victims - were children.
Investigators learned that the drug salesman used his personal email to communicate with Montana in order to hide what they were doing from medical authorities, The doctor went on to give the sales rep his physician-only access code, so he could view the HIPPA-protected medical information for all of his patients, along with instructions on how to use the medical records system.
Not long after, Montana asked the drug company for a $236,000.
Last September, Aegerion confessed to illegally advertising the risks associated with Juxtapid and paid a $35,000,000 fine to the federal government.
Also in 2017, Aegerion was nailed on fraud charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission and fined another $4,000,000.
Doctor Edwardo Montana was, until recently, the CEO of Children’s Cardiovascular Medicine, which is associated with WellStar Kennestone Hospital.
Montana, who operated several clinics throughout metro-Atlanta, is expected to be sentenced in June for the crime of Illegally Disclosing Private Health Information - a violation of the HIPPA statutes.
And so it goes - the doctor-criminal freight train, rolling right into the new year . . . with no end in sight.