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Local Psychiatrist Blows Whistle on Drug Company - abc27 WHTM

Local Psychiatrist Blows Whistle on Drug Company

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Harrisburg psychiatrist Stefan Kruszewski offers no pain relief for pharmaceutical companies. He testifies against them when they make false claims about their drugs and he's good at it.

The AstraZeneca drug Seroquel is for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but the company marketed it to seniors and kids for other things and wooed doctors into over-prescribing it. Kruszewski blew the whistle on AstraZeneca and it was ordered to pay a half-billion dollars in fines to the government.

As a scientist Kruszewski was angry that the company exaggerated the benefits and suppressed evidence about the drug's negative side effects in the name of profit.

"Doctors need to be more aware and need to make decisions not based upon what pharmaceutical companies are telling them but based upon unbiased information " he said.

As a whistle blower Kruszewski gets a piece of that half billion dollar settlement worth tens of millions of dollars. It's not the first big money case he's won but there's also a cost.

"I have colleagues that won't talk to me " he said.

Kruszewski testifies under the federal false claims act which dates to the Civil War. "President Lincoln decided that people were defrauding the federal government by selling them shoddy munitions and he wanted a way to get the federal government's money back " he said.

He maintains his home and his practice in Harrisburg and even though some drug companies hate him he says he's sure he's doing the right thing.

"It's validating to me as a professional and as a scientist and I feel good about it " he said. "I sleep well at night."

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