Report: Medicare Refills Strong Drugs Without New Prescriptions

MIAMI (September 27, 2012)--Medicare routinely refilled pain pills and other medications that are barred by federal law from being renewed without fresh prescriptions, a government inspector's report says.

The report found that three-quarters of contractors who processed prescriptions for the Medicare Part D program wrongly refilled some controlled substances in 2009.

Those prescriptions, which were for strong painkillers and other drugs considered at high risk for abuse, were worth a total of $25 million.

The report raised concerns about the prescriptions being resold on the street.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in response to the report that the inspector general was misinterpreting partial fills dispensed to patients in long-term care facilities as refills.

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