Aetna, an health insurance agency, has recently agreed to settle with the State of Missouri for $1.5 million after violating strict requirements regarding abortions, contraception, and autism in insurance policies. Missouri has unique laws that outline what insurance agencies are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do involving these three touchy subjects. In 1983 a law was made that prohibits abortion coverage from basic insurance policies and instead requires payment of an additional premium. A 2001 Missouri law states that birth control prescriptions should be covered under policies with pharmaceutical benefits. That law also allows people to purchase a plan with contraception coverage if their employer’s plan does not offer it. Aetna provided coverage for contraceptives and abortions without allowing employers to opt out. According to officials, Aetna had also excluded coverage for autism spectrum disorders.
Aron Banks, a 21 year old man was the first person to take Johnson & Johnson to court in Philadelphia after he grew breast tissue while taking the drug Risperdal. Although the Food and Drug Administration approved Risperdal for treating psychotic disorders in adults, this drug has never been approved for children. Steve Sheller, one of Bank’s attorneys claimed that the breasts were large enough to require surgery. Which caused Banks to sustain psychological trauma treatment as a child. When asked about the terms of the settlement, Sheller noted that they were confidential, but that “The case was resolved and the client is satisfied.”
Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach of the Penn State football team was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15 year period. One of the victims involved in the Jerry Sandusky case, identified by the Grand Jury as “Victim 1” recently sued Penn State on Friday, August 31st. He claimed that the school had helped to conceal the abuse of the children and was more interested in “protecting the reputation and commercial viability of the football program” than putting a stop to a child predator. Victim 1 also accused notable Penn State administrators, including Joe Paterno, with the knowledge that Jerry Sandusky was a “dangerous, sociopathic sexual predator who had previously raped, sodomized, and/or otherwise seriously harmed young boys on the Penn State campus.”
The McKesson Corporation, a company that distributes wholesale pharmaceutical products, has just settled a lawsuit for $151 million with 29 different states including Washington DC. After an 8 year investigation McKesson has been found guilty of inflating prescription drug prices in order to make an illegal profit. This investigation found that McKesson had overbilled over 1,400 brand name drugs by up to 25% from 2001 to 2009. Some of these prescriptions included Adderall, Allegra, Ambien, Celexa, Lipitor, Prozac, and Ritalin.
On July 17th, both Taylor Cournoyer and Laurie Cournoyer were arrested and charged with 5 counts of child abuse, as well as failing to notify police of the death of a child. The couple, who were taking care of a 2 year old girl and a few other children, were allegedly “binging on drugs” for 14 hours before calling 911. They are the first to be charged under a new law passed in South Dakota. The law states that a parent, caretaker, or guardian, who knowingly fails to report a death of a child within six hours of the occurrence may face felony charges. This is a charge punishable up to five years in prison. This new law is modeled after “Caylee’s Law,” which was passed in 2008 after little Caylee Anthony went missing and was not reported for 31 days.