The Intel Hub, Feb. 13, 2012
Antibiotics are not only breeding illness among the population, but are also so vastly overprescribed that it is costing the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) the equivalent of over 10 and a half million dollars per year. According to new research, doctors are dishing out more than 1.6 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for common ailments such as sinusitis and acute coughs. The result: an unnecessary and massive financial hit.
Conducted by researchers from Cardiff University and led by Professor Chris Butler, the two-year study worked with 68 GP practices in Wales. Finding that antibiotics were needlessly given to patients without effect, doctors were provided data that could limit the massive prescription count. Given data regarding antibiotic prescribing methods and resistance data, the researchers concluded that even a 5.5% reduction in antibiotic prescribing could save over $1,000 per individual practice — and cut over 2 million dollars per year in worthless antibiotic prescriptions.
Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, Dec. 16, 2010
The pharmaceutical industry has zoomed by the defense industry to become the biggest defrauder of the federal governement based on payments obtained under the federal False Claims Act, according to an analysis by the group Public Citizen.
Since 1991, there have been 165 major settlements of civil and criminal cases resulting in fines and payments totaling nearly $20 billion, the organization reported.
“Desperate to maintain their high margin of profit in the face of a dwindling number of important new drugs, these figures show that the industry has engaged in such activities as dangerous, illegal promotion for unapproved uses of drugs and deliberately overcharging vital government health programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid,” said Sidney Wolfe, director of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen.
Walletpop, Nov. 8, 2010
If you’ve experienced sticker shock at the pharmacy and wondered why drug prices are always rising, even for generics, consider the value of salt. Baxter International, which sells drugs to health care providers and pharmacies, billed Medicaid $928 for $1.71 worth of saline solution — a 54,000% markup — for more than 10 years before a Louisiana state lawsuit caught the deception last month.
Baxter also charged the same amount for sugar water — dextrose solution, an intravenous medication used to treat hypoglycemia. Cost to the company was just $2.25 wholesale, and so, a 41,000% markup.
…an independent report last month showed First DataBank conspired with McKesson Corp., a drug distributor, to raise, fix, and maintain the reported prices of more than 400 brand name drugs. The collusion, which led to a $15 million settlement with the state of Connecticut, raised costs for widely used prescription drugs such as Lipitor, Allegra, Asmacort, Celebrex, Flonase, Neurontin, Nexium, Prevacid and Valium.