Pediatric Doctor Pleads Guilty to Illegally Targeting Teens for Cholesterol Drug TrialsA Pediatric Cardiologist from Georgia has pleaded guilty to illegally targeting teens for a cholesterol drug that was only approved by the FDA for a rare disorder. According to court documents, Dr. Eduardo Montaña colluded with pharmaceutical company Aegerion to sell their drug Juxtapid to teenagers with heart problems, even though the drug was not approved for their conditions. Dr. Montaña violated HIPAA laws of patient privacy by supplying the pharmaceutical company private medical records of 280 teenagers without patient knowledge or consent. Drug company Aegerion was found guilty of criminal wrongdoing in a Massachusetts court. Juxtapid, which received FDA approval in 2012, costs over $330,000 per patient per year, so the drug company had strong financial motives to expand its sales. Dr. Montaña was a willing accomplice in their criminal activities, and reportedly hoped to get a kickback for himself. He requested a $236,000 grant from Aegerion. In the conviction against Aegerion in this case with Dr. Eduardo Montaña, District Judge William G. Young lamented how the U.S. Government allows criminal pharmaceutical companies to get off so easily, and continue doing business. Existing laws that protect pharmaceutical companies apparently prevented Judge Young from automatically issuing the harshest penalty, as the federal government generally strikes a plea bargain deal with the pharmaceutical company to keep them in business. Judge Young wrote: "What is left unexplained is why the government does not simply let Aegerion collapse in disgrace. Surely Aegerion is not too big to fail."