HIV drugs targeted for the black market

the Clinical Advisor take:

Clinicians should be on the alert for black-market HIV drugs, according to a report from The Journal of the American Medical Association.

 

In August, federal investigators detailed $32 million in suspicious charges to Medicare’s Part D program for HIV drugs for beneficiaries with no evidence of HIV infection in their Medicare records.

 

Community Access National Network (CANN), a group dedicated to improving access to HIV care, and the Partnership for Safe Medications, a nonprofit organization that targets counterfeit medications, published a statement alerting clinicians and patients that HIV medications were being resold illegally.

 

Since 2006, 86 people have been charged with distributing HIV medications and HIV/hepatitis testing kits on the black market for resale in the United States, according to CANN.

 

Fraudsters were reported to have repackaged the illegal medications for resale in pharmacies and directly to patients.

 

To assess the risk in the Part D program, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) analyzed records for suspicious patterns involving HIV prescribing to beneficiaries between 2011 and 2012.

 

In that year, the Part D program paid $2.8 billion for HIV medications. The OIG review found that 135,553 patients who alleged received HIV drugs had no evidence of HIV diagnosis or other HIV care, used an unusually high number of pharmacies or prescribers, received excessive amounts of the drugs, or received simultaneous prescription for drugs that should not be used together.

 

Although some of those claims may have been legitimate, some of the questionable prescriptions warranted further scrutiny.

An investigation discovered that expensive HIV medications have been resold on the black market to patients and pharmacies.

HIV drugs targeted for reselling
HIV drugs targeted for reselling

Expensive HIV medications are likely being targeted for resale on the black market, according to a new report from a federal watchdog. The report explained that the patterns the agency detected could mean patients were diverting the drugs for sale on the black market or that pharmacies were fraudulently billing Medicare for drugs that were never dispensed.

In August, federal investigators detailed $32 million in suspicious charges to Medicare's Part D program for HIV drugs for beneficiaries with no evidence of an HIV infection in their Medicare records (http://1.usa.gov/1oEfYgj). Earlier this year, the Community Access National Network (CANN), a group that supports access to HIV care, and the Partnership for Safe Medicines, a nonprofit organization targeting counterfeit medication, published a document alerting clinicians and patients to evidence that HIV medications were being resold illegally.

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