Drug shortages—FDA’s ability to respond should be strengthened
As recently reported by NPR, many US hospitals are perilously close to running out of a common cancer drug, methotrexate because a principal supplier of injectable the drug shut down in November after it failed an FDA inspection. Drug shortages in the US have in fact become a major public health concern. A recent report from the Government Accountability Office, summarized in this issue, suggests FDA authority needs to be enhanced to address this problem.
Higher use of advanced imaging services by providers who self-refer costing Medicare millions
Self-referral by physicians is controversial. In September, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report looking at the costs to Medicare associated with self-referral for imaging services. In this report, the GAO estimates that in 2010, providers who self-referred made 400,000 more referrals for imaging services than they would have if they were not self-referring. These additional referrals cost Medicare about $109 million. A summary of the report is included in this issue of the Health care Lawyer.