(NaturalNews) One of the primary reasons why prescription drug abuse in the US has become so rampant is that milking the government’s corrupt Medicare system for a virtually unlimited supply of prescription drugs is relatively easy. The New York Times (NYT) reports that, thanks to lax accountability standards by the program’s administrators, tens of thousands of Americans are now openly abusing Medicare to support their drug habits, or to sell lucrative, high-demand painkiller drugs like OxyContin to others for profit.
When George W. Bush signed the Medicare Prescription Drug Modernization Act, also known as Medicare Part D, into law back in 2003, he touted it as a sweeping reform that would benefit American seniors by expanding their coverage for prescription drugs. Five years since it came into effect, the program is now used and abused by drug addicts everywhere because essentially nobody is monitoring the program to make sure that those enrolled are using it properly.
“Our analysis found that about 170,000 Medicare beneficiaries received prescriptions from five or more medical practitioners,” said Gregory D. Kutz, director of forensic audits and special investigations at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), to the NYT concerning the 14 most popular types of abused drugs.
One woman in Georgia, for instance, visited four different doctors in less than a month to obtain a 150-day supply of oxycodone. Throughout the course of a full year, the same woman visited an astounding 58 different prescribers, where she obtained a total of 3,655 oxycodone pills, or a 1,679-day supply, from 40 different pharmacies.
As we reported previously, a 30-day supply of oxycodone, which is also known by the brand name OxyContin, is worth as much as $5,000 on the street. So based on the number of pills the Georgia woman was able to obtain, the bulk cost of which was footed by American taxpayers, she will theoretically be able to make more than $300,000 from the illegal sale of those pills on the black market.
And what did officials in charge of overseeing Medicare have to say when GAO presented this information to them? Besides sheer indifference, they actually purported that such “high utilization” of prescription drugs does not necessarily infer abuse, and that patients obtaining these amounts might actually need them.
And this is the current, absurd state of affairs with Medicare Part D, which is currently costing American taxpayers about $62 billion a year, and is expected to reach more than $150 billion a year by 2019. Meanwhile, the drug companies that continue to reap countless billions from this taxpayer-subsidized drug scam are laughing their way to the bank.