Here is yet another sobering dispatch about a conflicts of interest that affects prescription drugs. A new report finds that pharmacy and therapeutic committees that make formulary coverage decisions for Medicare Part D plans have limited oversight of conflicts held by committee members. As a result, the insurers lack the ability to prevent financial interests from influencing coverage decisions.
These committees, which are run by the private insurers that contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, have limited definitions of conflicts of interest, which can prevent them from identifying conflicts. And many committees allow members to determine and manage their own conflicts, according to the report, which was issued by the Office of Inspector General at the US Department of Health & Human Services. The OIG examined records from 111 committees that create and run drug formularies.
Moreover, there another disturbing finding: CMS does not adequately oversee compliance. At least two members on each committee must be independent and free of conflict with both insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and drugmakers. During 2010, which was the period analyzed, CMS never conducted audits. “Had CMS tried to review the information, it would have found the data unusable because of dicrepancies,” the report states.
Thank You Pharmalot and Mr. Silverman. Yeah, Right. And rather than fix problems like this, we're driving employers to cut employee hours down to 28.5 in order to even stay in business rather than comply with ObamaCare coverage mandates. Raise taxes, destroy the economy, and throw even more of other people's money into the mess that Led to a Government takeover in the 1st place.