Painful side effects

    Painful side effects

    Drug-abuse problems evade paltry anti-fraud efforts in Medicare Part D
     Modern Healthcare

    By Joe Carlson

    Posted: April 12, 2013 – 12:01 am ET

     

    The abuse of prescription painkillers causes more fatalities than heroin and cocaine use combined—more than 40 deaths every day.

    Yet programs that could stop the types of Medicare fraud that commonly lead to powerful drugs being diverted into the black market aren’t working as well as they should.

    Such breakdowns are often framed largely in terms of financial losses, such as the widely touted statistic that prescription drug fraud costs public and private insurers about $73 billion a year. But unlike other areas of Medicare fraud, prescription drug abuse levels a heavy human toll seen in the rising rates of deaths and addictions, the births of drug-addicted babies and destruction wrought on rural towns hard-hit by the painkiller epidemic.

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