Greg Jones has done a masterful job finding out just who is manufacturing the new “novel” drugs being dispensed by docs to workers’ comp claimants.
In his piece in today’s WorkCompCentral, Jones finds there are just seven companies manufacturing the three novel drugs with unique strengths about which WCRI concluded “it is likely that financial incentives drove some physicians to choose the strength for their patients.” [link leads to abstract, full report available for purchase here]
According to the piece;
Several of the companies [manufacturing the novel drugs] have been fined or warned by the federal government for engaging in unsafe practices, while another paid $12 million to resolve allegations that it paid kickbacks to doctors to prescribe its products. [emphasis added]
We aren’t talking minor misdemeanors, the FDA’s equivalent of parking tickets. Here’s a quick summary of just a few of these companies’ transgressions.
- Ranbaxy pleaded guilty to seven felonies and paid fines of $500 million for shipping drugs that weren’t tested for impurities and making fraudulent statements about quality-control tests.
- Victory Pharma paid $11.4 million to settle criminal and civil allegations re paying kickbacks to prescribing physicians
- Bryant Ranch was warned by the FDA for failure to put in place systems to prevent contamination during drug manufacturing. Bryant was also manufacturing at least 10 drugs that were unapproved by the FDA.
There’s much more in Jones’ article, which should be required reading for legislators and regulators dealing with workers’ comp.
The net is this – putting price controls on doc dispensing doesn’t work; it is blatantly obvious the doc dispensing industry has figured out how to keep generating huge profits despite legislation or regulations in 18 states intended to limit profiteering.
Those profits come from employers and taxpayers, and they come at the risk of sickening or killing claimants.
Thanks to Greg Jones and WorkCompCentral for this – it is wonderful to see that investigative reporting isn’t dead. It is also inspiring to see how real reporters work.
What does this mean for you?
Just say no. Refuse to pay for doc dispensed drugs. If providers in your network are dispensing, kick them out.
If your state forces you to pay, use whatever legal methods exist – and every state has them – to delay and deny payment.
Oh, and subscribe to WorkCompCentral, too…