Over the past several years, this blog has covered the under-reported but
nevertheless widespread dangers associated with compound pharmacies.
A new published analysis suggests that compound pharmaceuticals may have
cost the military’s Tricare program massively, creating a multi-billion
dollar budget hole.
Compound pharmacies in theory sound excellent and effective. They merge
multiple medicines to develop drugs that might not be available easily
in commercial form. Unfortunately, the industry, due perhaps to lack of
regulation, has been at the center of a serious investigation regarding
improper marketing and pricing schemes.
Several years ago, private healthcare companies worked hard to eliminate
or reduce this aggressive marketing, but military healthcare affiliates
have just recently discovered that they have their own
compound pharmacy problem. According to analysis, in 2010, the military spent $6.6 billion on pharmacy
costs; only $23 million of that went to compound drugs. By 2015, the compound
drug costs for Tricare (a military healthcare program) blossomed explosively
to $1.7 billion. That constitutes a nearly thousand-fold increase in cost
in just five years!
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Resource Management, Jon
Rychalski said “it’s really unheard of to see this kind of
a spike, and it threatens our program.” Noting that the average
Tricare cost for compound drugs bumped from $192 to an astonishing $2,595,
Rychalski observed that “unscrupulous people [are] out there taking
advantage of this, heavily marketing in many different ways.”
Four defense committees in Congress are now well aware of these escalating
drug costs — and obviously motivated to bring costs down to more
reasonable levels — but policymakers still don’t know how,
exactly, to get the Tricare budget under control.
D.C. medical malpractice attorneys for a free consultation about your options.
Explore more hidden dangers about compound drugs in this eye-opening article:
6 Dangers of Pharmacy Compounding: What Patients Need to Know.