Costco has reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay $11.75 million to resolve federal allegations that the warehouse club’s pharmacies violated the Controlled Substances Act by filling prescriptions they probably shouldn’t have. [More]
Relieving pain isn’t a simple issue of taking a pill and feeling better. It’s a complicated cornucopia of treatments ranging from over-the-counter remedies to holistic healing to prescription medications, with some $300 billion a year spent each year on painkillers in the U.S. alone.
In news that really isn’t at all surprising — despite repeated denials from medical professionals — a new report found that doctors’ prescription habits are often influenced by the payments they receive from pharmaceutical and device makers.
Do you have old and expired medicine just sitting in your medicine cabinet and you’re not quite sure how to get rid of it? Walgreens is installing kiosks in 500 stores in the hope of giving customers a way to quickly and easily dispose of their unused drugs.
Earlier this year, a company called Turing Pharmaceuticals purchased the rights to Daraprim (pyrimethamine), an anti-parasitic used to treat malaria and toxoplasmosis, that had sold for as little as $1/tablet until not too long ago. Overnight, the price of Daraprim skyrocketed to around $750/pill, resulting in angry doctors, and a Senate investigation. Today, pharmacy benefits giant Express Scripts announced a partnership that will introduce a version of pyrimethamine at the pre-Turing price. [More]
A handful of pharmaceutical investors have been snapping up the rights to previously affordable prescription drugs, only to immediately raise prices to the point where patients now pay hundreds of dollars for a single pill — resulting in huge additional costs for consumers, insurers, and healthcare providers. Not only has this practice drawn the ire of the medical community, it’s also resulted in a Senate committee investigation. [More]
A subsidiary of multibillion-dollar international pharmaceuticals company Allergan has agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge of healthcare fraud and pay $125 million to close the books on criminal and civil liability claims tied to the subsidiary’s illegal marketing activities for seven different name-brand prescription drugs. [More]
While most doctors try to honor their oath to do no harm, some physicians just want to be paid (or are really, really, just horrible at their jobs). Take, for example, the 1-in-10 doctors responsible for writing the majority of painkiller prescriptions. [More]
Gripe as we might, consumers understand that price increases do happen. What’s not as easily understood is how the price for something can go from $13.50 one day to $750 the next — especially when it’s a generic drug used to save lives. [More]
Maybe this has happened to you: you’re at the pharmacy, picking up a refill of a prescription that you or a family member have been taking for a long time. It’s a routine errand until you get sticker shock: the copay has suddenly shot up. You didn’t change insurance, it’s still the same year, and the drug is the same: how can a price change so dramatically so quickly? [More]
CVS Health agreed to pay $450,000 to settle a years-long investigation by Rhode Island and the Drug Enforcement Administration that several of its locations filled forged and invalid painkiller prescriptions in violation of federal laws. [More]
The country’s second largest pharmacy chain is the latest party in a class-action lawsuit that accuses CVS of deliberately overcharging hundreds of thousands of patients for generic prescription drugs. [More]
Biotech drugs — which are generally derived from a living organism, as opposed to traditional purely chemical medications — are currently among the most expensive medicines available. But today, the Food and Drug Administration issued its first approval of a drug that is “biosimilar” to an existing biotech medication; a development that could possibly result in billions of dollars in savings. [More]
In Canada, you can buy a tube of brand-name prescription cold sore cream Zovirax for around $50. Its generic equivalent (acyclovir) is half that price. And even here in the states you can find generics acyclovir pills and ointments for a reasonable price, so why does what is effectively the same product sell for more than $2,500 in the U.S.? [More]
In recent years, makers of prescription testosterone treatments like AndroGel began throwing around the term “Low T” in TV ads, blaming low levels of the hormone for various problems — sex drive, flagging energy, moodiness — that have long been associated with simply growing older. But the FDA is now acknowledging that these drugs pose “a possible increased risk of heart attack and stroke” and are warning against their use for the treatment of anything other than very specific medical conditions. [More]
Pharmacy Linked To Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Allegedly Faked Prescriptions For “Filet O’Fish,” “Bud Weiser”
As part of a federal indictment against a Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people, officials allege that employees of the company used some pretty suspicious names on faked prescriptions, including things like menu items — “Filet O’fish” and “Coco Puff” — as well as famous er, names like “Bud Weiser” and his pal, “Raymond Rollingrock.”
In one month, the price of your generic prescription doubles. The first person at your insurance company says “Oops, that’s a mistake,” but a second person tells you that the mistake was actually made when you were charged the original, lower price. Meanwhile, the insurance company’s website tells you that the lower price is the correct one — and none of these people actually seem to give a damn. [More]