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Letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services Calling for Expanded Investigation Into Deadly Meningitis Outbreak

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Secretary of Healthand Human Services Kathleen Sebelius should appoint an independent entity –such as the Office of Inspector General – to investigate whetherfinancial incentives created by drug compounding reimbursement policies of theCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – combined withinadequate Food and Drug Administration action – fostered the recent outbreakof life-threatening fungal meningitis caused by tainted steroid injections.CMS, through its inconsistent Medicare drug reimbursement policies concerningcompounded drugs and decisions allowing routine coverage for such drugs,appears to have created inadvertent financial incentives that helpedlarge-scale production by compounding pharmacies to flourish.

May 23, 2013, Response letter from CMS