As we come to the holiday season there is a lot to be thankful for but some people are going to have a lot better Christmas than others. These "lucky schemers" have figured out a way to make millions by defrauding the Medicare Part D dry plan. A report released by ProPublica Communications shows that this fraud is costing us millions of dollars each year. The investigation found that many elderly, broke, disgraced or foreign-trained doctors are recruited for jobs at small clinics. Their provider IDs are used to write thousands of Medicare prescriptions for patients whose identities also may have been bought or stolen. The drugs are then resold to pharmacies or drug wholesalers. This is easy to do because insurers are required to pay and then investigate even if there are suspicious circumstances, and even if an investigation is going on, Medicare will keep paying for the same questionable drugs from the same prescribers. In one example, a Miami doctor’s prescribing was over $8.7 million (he was the fourth highest in the US) and he is still writing prescriptions for patients who don’t exist or he has never seen. We wonder why our healthcare costs so much: this might just be one of the reasons. You can find the full story here.
Sanofi now joins Lilly in the race to high dose insulin. Because our type 2 patients are starting on insulin sooner and doses for our most insulin resistant patients are astronomically high, Sanofi is now testing a 300 unit/ml strength of glargine. This high-dose long-acting insulin could join Humulin R U-500 and the new U200 aspart that Lilly is doing studies on as ways to reduce insulin with less injection volume.
Dave Joffe, Editor-in-chief