Wednesday, November 26, 2008

U.S. Government Pays for Bad Drugs

(Washington) About 72 million prescriptions for unapproved drugs are filled every year with a cost to Medicaid, and the American taxpayer, of at least $200 million.
The availability of unapproved prescription drugs to the public may create a dangerous false sense of security. Dozens of deaths have been linked to them, records show.

The medications date back decades, before the Food and Drug Administration tightened its review of drugs in the early 1960s. The FDA says it is trying to squeeze them from the market, but conflicting federal laws allow the Medicaid health program for low-income people to pay for them. The FDA says there may be thousands of such drugs on the market.

The FDA and Medicaid are part of the Health and Human Services Department, but the FDA has yet to compile a master list of unapproved drugs, and Medicaid -- which may be the biggest purchaser -- keeps paying.
Since the FDA hasn't even been able to compile a list of bad drugs, what confidence can we have that the FDA is capable of identifying good drugs?

So, we have an anecdote which strongly hints at what we can expect if the government takes over the entire health care system in the U.S.

However, the demonstrated inability to properly administer the Medicaid program will be insignificant when the U.S. government displays its incompetence with a nationalized medical care system. Expect to be wishing for the good old days.

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