Letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services Calling for
Expanded Investigation Into Deadly Meningitis Outbreak
November 19, 2012
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Secretary of Health
and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius should appoint an independent entity –
such as the Office of Inspector General – to investigate whether
financial incentives created by drug compounding reimbursement policies of the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – combined with
inadequate Food and Drug Administration action – fostered the recent outbreak
of life-threatening fungal meningitis caused by tainted steroid injections.
CMS, through its inconsistent Medicare drug reimbursement policies concerning
compounded drugs and decisions allowing routine coverage for such drugs,
appears to have created inadvertent financial incentives that helped
large-scale production by compounding pharmacies to flourish.
May 23, 2013, Response letter from CMS