Doctor Buys Huge Interest In Lion's Gate, Distributor of Sicko

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Would you find it suspicious that a doctor with heavy ties to the HMO and Pharmaceutical industry suddenly went on a quest to acquire controlling interest in Lion's Gate, the distribution company for Michael Moore's movie, "Sicko" a week before it opened? And then the movie's release in theaters seems to rapidly diminish? Coincedence? Or has Lion's Gate now become a puppet of big pharma?

Bill Maher's upcoming film critical of religion is also set to be distributed by Lion's Gate. Are we going to see a trend of activist films being limited in distribution by their corporate controllers?

Mark H. Rachesky, M.D. purchased 33.4% (over 40 Million) shares of Lions Gate stock one week prior to the scheduled opening of Michael Moore's controversial film "Sicko" which happens to be distributed by Lions Gate and the Weinstein Co. (SEC filing can be found here). Interestingly, a pre-screening of the film was held on the same day in New Hampshire for over 600 people including doctors, health care lobbyists, nurses, political figures and pharmaceutical companies all from the health care industry.

Dr. Rachesky is the founder and President of MHR Fund Management LLC and affiliates who are investment managers of various private funds. Dr. Rachesky is currently on the Board of Directors of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. who focus on the acquisition, development and commercialization of medically important, novel pharmaceutical products for the treatment of life-threatening diseases, including diabetes and cancer. He is also an investment broker for NovaDel Pharma Inc. (AMEX: NVD), a specialty pharmaceutical company who targets candidates suffering from nausea, insomnia, migraine headaches and disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). In addition DR. Rachesky is the beneficial owner of Medical Nutrition USA, Inc. owning approximately 29% of the company with 3,786,799 shares. He is also the Director of Neose Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTEC) which is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of next-generation therapeutic proteins that are competitive with best in class protein drugs currently on the market. In 2003, the market for therapeutic proteins grew by almost 19% to $37 billion, and is predicted to achieve sales of over $90 billion by 2010. Recently the Doctor also has invested in Emisphere Technologies, Inc. another bio pharmaceutical company charting new frontiers in drug delivery. Emisphere has strategic alliances with world-leading pharmaceutical companies

Originally, Lion’s Gate had planned a wide release of SICKO in over 1,600 theaters nationwide June 29, 2007 but one week prior to the release the number was reduced to a mere 400. This decision was made the same week Dr. Rachesky purchased Lions Gate stock. Could this be pure coincidence?

Did Dr Rachesky purchase the stock for controlling interests in Lions Gate? Controlling Interest is when the parent company owns a majority of the common stock that allows the shareholder major influence on the company. Normally for one to obtain controlling interests in a company one would purchase at least 51% of all shares however, in some cases a single entity can essentially maintain control with only 33.4% of the outstanding shares. Ironically, this is the exact percentage of shares purchased by Dr. Rachesky.

In the film SICKO Michael Moore turns his attentions toward the topic of health care in the United States in this documentary that weighs the plight of the uninsured against the record profits of the pharmaceutical industry. Moore interviews a number of people who have been left broke by medical bills even though they were fully insured, and explains how the corporate drive for profits has left numerous people in financial and medical disarray. After hearing that detainees in Guantanamo have access to free health care, Moore assembles a group of World Trade Center rescue workers to travel to Cuba in order to get the medical help they need for ailments they incurred in 2001. Moore's film debuted at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

If Dr Rachesky purchased Lions Gate shares for controlling power is it safe to ask why? There are many debates and arguments as the the accuracy of Moore’s film. What interests me is if there were no truth and validity to the documentary why would someone go to so much trouble to make sure it is not a success and limit the amount theaters where the film can be seen? Sounds to me like this film has left the health care industry shaking in their boots and they don't want us to know the truth.

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Posted by Patsy Sermersheim on 2007-08-23 08:45:14
Are you kidding me? This is beyond disturbing. Lionsgate also puts out my favorite series "Weeds". Do I have to worry about the content of this show being altered as well? What this news does for me is makes me want to RUN out and see the movie. I always had plans to see it- but now that I am aware of the lengths Dr Rachesky has been willing to go for me to NOT see it- I will not wait another second!
 

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