Los Angeles Times Examines Black Market of Drug Used To Treat AIDS Wasting
The Los Angeles Times on Sunday examined the "thriv[ing]" black market for Serostim, a drug used to treat AIDS wasting that is popular among bodybuilders and others who have no medical need for the drug. Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, "has exercised slack control over reimbursements for costly AIDS drug," which costs about $7,000 per patient per month. In the past four years, Medi-Cal has spent about $175 million on the human growth hormone treatment, and last year the state spent more than New York, Florida and Texas combined. Although Medi-Cal officials defend the program's expenditures on Serostim, they "acknowledge that myriad abuses have cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars," according to the Times (Reiterman, Los Angeles Times, 2/16). The complete article is available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.