A recent article in The Fiscal Times highlight the ever increasing government scrutiny on compounding pharmacies. The article centers on a recent report by the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General’s office that reports a 56 percent increase in Medicare spending on compounded drugs, resulting in government-financed spending of $509 million last year. The highest growth in spending has been in the purchase of popular topical creams and gels used to reduce pain; spending of which has increased 3,400 percent since 2006.
The article then quotes a statement from John Voliva, executive vice president of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists: “while legitimately prescribed compounded drugs can dramatically improve a patient’s quality of life, it is important to have proper controls around the billing of the government.” Meanwhile, the HHS Inspector General and federal and state authorities have begun to crack down on physicians and compounded drug makers, who have conspired to overbill the Medicare, Medicaid, and other government health care advisers. According to the article, since July 2015, the government has taken civil and criminal action against pharmacies seeking $20 million in fines and recoveries. Many of those cases involve pharmacies “paying kickbacks for prescriptions or filling prescriptions that should not have been filled.”
The article can be found here.