Painful side effects
By Joe Carlson
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.