Drug Companies Suppress Wider Release of Sicko
August 21, 2007
One week before Michael Moore’s hotly debated documentary Sicko was scheduled to open, Mark H. Rachesky, M.D. -- the founder and president of MHR Fund Management LLC -- purchased 33.4 percent (over 40 million shares) of Lions Gate stock.
Lions Gate (along with Weinstein Co.), the company distributing Sicko, had planned to release the film in over 1,600 theaters across the United States in June 2007. However, one week prior to the release (the same week that Rachesky made his purchase), the number was reduced to 400 theaters.
While this could be mere coincidence, some are questioning whether Rachesky’s stock purchase was made for controlling interests in Lions Gate. Typically, for a shareholder to gain major influence on a company, he or she would need to purchase at least 51 percent of the shares.
However, in certain instances an individual can maintain control with just 33.4 percent of shares… which is the exact amount that Rachesky purchased.
Further, Rachesky is involved with a number of health care companies who stand to be impacted by Moore’s provocative film. Rachesky is:
Sicko examines the financial and medical struggles of Americans to get proper health care, and chronicles the experience of a group of World Trade Center rescue workers who travel to Cuba to get medical care, for free.
- On the Board of Directors of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
- An investment broker for NovaDel Pharma, Inc.
- The beneficial owner of Medical Nutrition USA, Inc.
- The Director of Neose Technologies, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company
- An investor in Emisphere Technologies, Inc., another biopharmaceutical company
The Zetetic August 4, 2007