Saturday, June 23, 2007

Psychiatrist indicted for fraud in Paxil trials

http://www.dailycomet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070614/APN/706141
966

Psychiatrist indicted for fraud in Paxil trials

The Associated Press


NEW ORLEANS Dr. Maria Carmen Palazzo was indicted by a federal grand
jury on 55 counts of health care fraud and false documentation in
connection with a clinical trial of Paxil in children and adolescents,
U.S.
Attorney Jim Letten said on Thursday.

The indictment alleges that during approximately a five-year period,
Palazzo, 55, of New Orleans, defrauded Medicare in connection with
services she claimed to have rendered to patients in a Psychiatric
Partial Hospitalization Program at Touro Infirmary.

The indictment also charges that Palazzo defrauded Medicare by
submitting fraudulent invoices to Touro for consulting and medical
director services. The indictment says because of that Medicare paid
Palazzo over $653,000 she was not entitled to receive.

Palazzo, who specializes in psychiatry, is also charged with offenses
relating to clinical trials involving Paxil.

According to the indictment, Palazzo, as a clinical investigator for
SmithKline Beecham doing business as GlaxoSmithKline, fraudulently
failed to maintain and prepare records required by the FDA for
evaluation the drug's safety and effectiveness in children and
adolescents.

If convicted, Palazzo faces a maximum term of 445 years, and a fine of
$10.15 million, Letten's office said.

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