Medicare Lags In Detecting Hazardous Prescribing Patterns

An analysis by ProPublica and The Washington Post has found that Medicare does little to track doctor prescription patterns when they're prescribing potentially hazardous drugs.

ProPublica/Washington Post: Dangers Found In Lack Of Safety Oversight For Medicare Drug Benefit
An analysis of four years of Medicare prescription records shows that some doctors and other health professionals across the country prescribe large quantities of drugs that are potentially harmful, disorienting or addictive for their patients. Federal officials have done little to detect or deter these hazardous prescribing patterns (Weber, Ornstein and LaFleur, 5/11).

Elsewhere, prices that drugmakers charge for their medicines come under tighter scrutiny --

Reuters: Analysis: Drugmakers Face More Scrutiny Of Discordant U.S. Prices
The world's biggest drug makers have for years enjoyed rich premiums for their medicines in the U.S. market. Those days may be coming to an end. Companies like Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca have grown dependent on higher U.S. prices to generate profits as generic rivals to their best-selling medicines enter the world market, Europe's government-run health plans clamp down on spending and sales growth in emerging markets stutters (Beasley, 5/10).

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