Former Anthem exec sues health insurer

A former medical director at Anthem has filed a lawsuit alleging the company forced him to leave in July of 2006 after he exposed a cozy relationship with a drug company.

Dr. Randy Axelrod, 51, who was a vice president in charge of health care management for Anthem’s parent, WellPoint, claims that he was dismissed for testifying in court against pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc.

JK Wall writes in the Indianapolis Business Journal that, “In 2005, Axelrod concluded that Amgen was selling three of its cancer drugs to doctors in a bundle and giving rebates to doctors for buying them that way. The approach, Axelrod said, encouraged doctors to prescribe more of one of the drugs – a drug that faced fierce competition.”

According to Wall, Axelrod wants his old job back plus punitive damages and back pay.

BizSense is still trying to contact Axelrod.

In 2004, Axelrod wrote a piece for about general patient advice.

Editor’s Note: BizSense is expanding coverage this month to include the business of health care. In several weeks we will be looking at why premiums are going up for so many small businesses in Richmond. We want to hear from the business owners and employees who face these pressures. Please send story ideas to [email protected]

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