Thursday, January 28, 2016

Zoeller's Refusal To Investigate Clinic's Alleged Off-Label Prescribing Of HGH Hamstrings NFL's Investigation

Forbes' Alex Reimer has an interesting story on why the NFL will have a tough time conducting an investigation to determine whether Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning received human growth hormone treatment from an anti-aging clinic in Indianapolis. As Reimer points out, Manning would have to fully cooperate and voluntarily turn over his and his wife's medical records. That's because the NFL lacks subpoena power, something Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has to investigate licensed medical professionals in Indiana.

"Given that the NFL lacks subpoena power, Manning and his wife will have to grant the league legal authorization to obtain the documents pertaining to the treatment they received at the Guyer Institute, the Indianapolis-based clinic that allegedly shipped HGH to Manning’s home under his wife’s name," Reimer writes. "The only way the NFL can acquire those records without Manning’s permission is if the Guyer Institute is prosecuted or faces civil litigation.

One of the worst kept secrets in Indianapolis is the long-term addiction Colts owner Jim Irsay has battled with prescription painkillers. In 2002, WTHR had a blockbuster report about Irsay's drug addiction problem that had resulted in his hospitalization on several occasions for drug overdoses. [Note: WTHR has since scrubbed that blockbuster report from its website] Way back then, Zoeller's predecessor, Steve Carter, launched an investigation of the physicians and pharmacists who had supplied Irsay with those those prescription painkillers. Formal charges were filed by the Attorney General against Dr. Gregory Chernoff for prescribing powerful prescription drugs like Hydrocodone and Norco to Irsay. The complaint alleged that Irsay was paying excessive fees to obtain the drugs, even after a stint in drug rehabilitation. The Attorney General also filed complaints against three pharmacists, who filled the prescriptions Dr. Chernoff wrote.

Flash forward to March 2014, Jim Irsay was stopped by a Carmel police officer after he was observed driving his vehicle in a residential neighborhood erratically. Irsay was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and possession of controlled substances after a large amount of prescriptions pills and cash were found in his possession. Irsay later pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor DUI offense under a sweetheart deal his attorney worked out with the Hamilton Co. Prosecutor's Office.

Months following Irsay's arrest, Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced his office was teaming up with the Indianapolis Colts to heighten awareness of Indiana's prescription drug abuse epidemic. "I am enthusiastic about our partnership with the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force," said Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay. "The statistics related to this issue in Indiana are eye-openers, and we hope we can use the Colts platform to get the word out and raise awareness about prevention." "Teaming with the Colts and their professional athletes will allow us to focus public attention on this epidemic and the need to help those held in the grip of pain and addiction," Zoeller added. "My hope is that, with the support of the Colts we can save many lives from this growing problem." It's worth noting that in response to the allegations made in the Al Jazeera report that made headlines late last year, Manning noted that the Colts organization recommended and approved of all treatments he received at the Guyer Institute.

Yeah, you get the picture. Like I said yesterday, unless the Indianapolis media holds Zoeller's feet to the fire, this will be yet another scandal swept under the rug to protect persons too big to hold accountable to the same laws you and I are expected to follow. It is truly remarkable how little interest the Indianapolis media has shown in covering this story, even after it was revealed by one of their own, WTHR sports repoter Bob Kravitz, that he had been prescribed HGH by the same Indianapolis clinic at which someone in the Manning household was accused of being prescribed HGH for what sure seemed to be an illlegal, off-label use of the drug.


Anonymous said...

"Given that the NFL lacks subpoena power..."

That's as bizarre as saying "Given that Justin Bieber lacks subpoena power..."

Why on earth would the NFL ever spend a second considering subpoena power...or a space program?

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't IMPD investigated business? What are the ties to Ballard and Hogsett?