PRESS RELEASE: Lown Institute’s 2nd Annual “Shkreli Awards” Reveals the Worst in Health Care in 2018

January 9th, 2019

500 patients without cancer given chemotherapy, and other shocking stories of egregious profiteering and dysfunction in health care.

Boston, MA: On January 9th, 2019, the Lown Institute released the 2nd Annual Shkreli Awards, a list of the top ten worst actors in health care from the past year, named for the infamous “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli.

Among the top ten this year:

  • An insurance company refusing to pay for emergency department visits, even for alarming symptoms, if the visit later deemed not serious enough
  • An oncologist who gave chemotherapy to 500 patients that did NOT have cancer
  • A medical center testing powerful antipsychotics on unknowing patients

“It’s hard to ignore the epidemic of corruption and greed in health care when you see these stories all together,” said Shannon Brownlee, Lown Institute Senior Vice President. “And these aren’t isolated incidents; they’re  the natural result of a broken system.”

A panel of esteemed patient activists, clinicians, and health care journalists weighed in on the final ranking of Shkreli nominees to choose the winners. The full list of winners, along with comments from the judges, is available on the Lown Institute website.

“As long as the drive for profit supplants the desire to heal, the promise of life, liberty, and happiness will be out of reach for many Americans,” said Brownlee. “We hope these awards will not just shock or anger readers, but inspire them to action.”

The 2018 Shkreli Award Judges’ panel included:

  • Shannon Brownlee, Lown Institute
  • Allen Frances, Duke University School of Medicine
  • Patricia Gabow, Lown Institute Trustee
  • Andrew Goldstein, Progressive Doctors
  • Mona Hanna-Attisha, Michigan State University
  • Amy Holden Jones, “The Resident” on Fox
  • Jeanne Lenzer, The BMJ
  • Victor Montori, The Patient Revolution
  • Casey Quinlan, Mighty Casey Media
  • Vikas Saini, Lown Institute
  • Gary Schwitzer,
  • Surafel Tsega, Right Care Alliance Hospital Medicine Council

Media Contact

Aaron Toleos
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