The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last Sunday that an analysis of federal data found taxpayers have paid out around 200 million dollars since 2004 for medications that have never been reviewed by the government for safety and effectiveness. However, the medications are still covered under Medicaid.
Of course, this creates a false sense of security as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Apparently dozens of deaths have been linked to these medications. These medications date back to before the FDA increased its review of drugs in the early 1960s.
FDA is attempting to have these medications taken off the market but there are federal laws that allow the Medicaid health program for low-income people to pay for them. Medicaid paid about 198 million dollars from 2004 to 2007 for above 100 unapproved drugs.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Medicaid officials are aware of the problem but say that Congress needs to help them fix the problem. Solving this problem becomes difficult when there are conflicting laws, regulations, and responsibilities with different government agencies.
Although this is a complicated problem to solve, it is dangerous to have medications on the market that are not government approved.