Monday, October 5, 2009

Lupus Foundation of America Sells Out Lupus Sufferers

The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) has developed a working relationship with the Lewin Group--the health insurance industry lobbying group for, and developer of, the propaganda campaign against universal, affordable, health care.

Lewin Group and United Health Care are also infamous for considerably UNDERSTATING the "usual and customary charges" for physician services in determining patient reimbursement. Many other insurance companies used this PHONY data produced by a UHC subsidiary as an excuse to pay sick patients far less than the should have been paid. UHC had to pay a 50 million dollar fine for this evil practice when they were finally caught.

Sick patients struggled over uncovered medical bills that were far high then they should have been. The patients were told that 'they were responsible for' the amount above the very low phony usual and customary physician and medical charges. The patients had no recourse but to accept the determination of the insurance company about what was a 'usual and customary" charge.

Sick patients went bankrupt, and went without medication, all so the wealthy United Health Care CEO and his henchman could live the lavish life style of the super rich.

The Lewin Group is fully funded by United Health Care whose 100 million dollar a year CEO has been willing to spend any amount to deny ordinary Americans access to universal affordable health care. Universal affordable medical coverage would mean he could not collect his 30% blood tax (company profit margin) from denying coverage to the ill.

LFA has fallen prey to the lure of money that has undone the good of so many other patient lobbying groups recently. Once the patient group accepts industry money, the interests of the ill have a VERY hard time competing with the interests of the industry who "contributes" to the patient advocacy group. This process of contributing money in order to skew patient advocacy group agendas toward the contributor's agenda is called 'capturing' the group. Big industry brags about how many groups they have 'captured'. Add to that list the Lupus Foundation of America.

LFA's capitulation to the control of industry is disguised in the Press Release (in red) at the end of this post. The PR with the LFA is designed to give the evil Lewin Group cover and credibility as a legitimate medical group rather than a purchased hired gun predator.

Purchasing the LFA's formerly good name, as cover for the Lewin Group, must have meant some nice gifts to the board of directors of the LFA, perhaps sky boxes as at a major league game, perhaps a golf weekend, or a few nice dinners at a fancy restaurants, who knows?

What ever the board of directors got, we know not; but, we do know what the Lupus suffers got and that was the shaft.

See what the Washington Post says about the monstrous evil that is the Lewin Group of hired gun liars and lobbyist here:

Insurer-Owned Consulting Firm Often Cited in Health Debate

By David S. Hilzenrath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 23, 2009

The political battle over health-care reform is waged largely with numbers, and few number-crunchers have shaped the debate as much as the Lewin Group, a consulting firm whose research has been widely cited by opponents of a public insurance option.

To Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.), the House Republican whip, it is "the nonpartisan Lewin Group." To Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, it is an "independent research firm." To Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), the second-ranking Republican on the pivotal Finance Committee, it is "well known as one of the most nonpartisan groups in the country."

Generally left unsaid amid all the citations is that the Lewin Group is wholly owned by UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation's largest insurers.

More specifically, the Lewin Group is part of Ingenix, a UnitedHealth subsidiary that was accused by the New York attorney general and the American Medical Association of helping insurers shift medical expenses to consumers by distributing skewed data. Ingenix supplied UnitedHealth and other insurers with data that allegedly understated the "reasonable and customary" doctor fees that insurers use to determine how much they will reimburse consumers for out-of-network care.

More from this Washington Post article at:

Below in red is the PR where LFA announces their sell out of all sick lupus patients in America who try so hard and unsuccessfully to get the Health Insurance parasites to pay the costs of the health care that sick lupus patients have paid for in their monthly premiums. Our American Health Insurance thieves take our premium payments for years until we need them, then refuse to pay for the coverage that they took our money with the promise that they would cover us when we got sick.

Spending money on sick patients is considered a business liability by the medical insurance monsters who control access to health care in America.

Please consider contacting the LFA and telling them what you think of selling out to the "FOR PROFIT, not for patients" American medical insurance industry.

Contact: Maggie Maloney
Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.

National report shines light on lupus 50-year treatment drought
The Lupus Foundation of America urges key stakeholders to implement report recommendations

Washington, D.C. - October 5, 2009—Today, The Lewin Group, a national health care consulting firm, issued recommendations on ways to overcome the barriers that have obstructed lupus drug development resulting in no new drug approval for this disease in more than 50 years – since the Eisenhower Administration. The recommendations are included in the report, "Overcoming Barriers to Drug Development in Lupus," which is the outcome of a 9-month study commissioned by the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. (LFA). The recommendations highlight the need for a national collaborative and coordinated effort among key stakeholders, including the FDA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers and scientists from academia, the LFA, and industry, to implement a range of initiatives that would create a path forward to develop a robust arsenal of safe, effective, and more tolerable treatments for this difficult to treat and devastating disease.

The report provides recommendations for each of the key stakeholders, which include expanding federal support for medical research on lupus, assessing the existing standard of care used in clinical trials, examining the interpretation of regulations pertaining to clinical trial design and related standards of evidence used to evaluate investigational drugs for lupus, expediting the discovery and validation of lupus biomarkers, and more.

As part of the research conducted to prepare this independent report, in June 2009 more than 40 international lupus experts and thought leaders from government, industry, and the scientific community convened in Washington, DC to discuss the barriers to lupus drug development. This groundbreaking effort represents the first time leaders from all sectors with a broad range of informed opinions were brought together to address the unique challenges of lupus drug development and ways to overcome them.

Lupus is a chronic, severe autoimmune disease that affects approximately 1.5 million Americans − primarily women in their childbearing years. In its more severe form lupus can lead to kidney failure, heart attack, atherosclerosis, or even death. According to the report, lupus "stands apart" from other chronic autoimmune diseases because the majority of therapies currently used to effectively manage lupus have not been approved by the FDA for the disease. Many of these medications often have side effects that can be worse than the primary disease, including osteoporosis, weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, sterility, liver damage, and the increased risk of infection.

"The recommendations are a call to action requiring the efforts of all key stakeholders," said Sandra C. Raymond, LFA President and CEO. "They provide the foundation for developing and obtaining approval for the arsenal of therapies and personalized treatment that people with this perilous disease require."

The report states that the persistent lack of success of lupus clinical trials has consequences for the willingness of drug manufacturers to pursue FDA approval and indicates "some in industry perceive no clear pathway or system in place for the development of lupus therapies."

"The report findings demonstrate that the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries cannot develop lupus treatments in a vacuum," said Rick Goulburn, Executive Vice President - Global Autoimmune Therapy Area at Vifor Pharma. "We need more collaboration and partnership across all sectors of the field, greater investment by the federal government in basic lupus research, and continued leadership from the LFA and the entire scientific community."

Lupus drug development has had many setbacks in recent years including the failure of several promising new treatments. However, much has been learned from these trials and potentially greater insight can be gained if the data is evaluated collectively.

An immediate outgrowth of the expert panel meeting held in June is the LFA Collective Data Analysis Initiative (LFA CDAI), chaired by Kenneth Kalunian, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, at the University of California, San Diego, to advance the knowledge of lupus and optimize clinical trial design by researching data from previous and existing lupus clinical trials.

"The lupus community certainly recognizes the urgent need for collaboration," said Dr. Kalunian. "Following the expert panel meeting, working groups were immediately established to begin tackling the recommendations that were identified. When fully implemented, these initiatives will help gain needed insight on the issues which have plagued lupus clinical trials and develop more effective ways to design them, so ultimately lupus trials can be completed successfully."


About the LFA

The Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. is the foremost national nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus, and providing support, services, and hope to all people affected by lupus. The LFA and its national network of chapters and support groups operate programs of research, education, and advocacy

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