An article published Sunday in The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Justice Department is investigating suspected fraud involving compounding creams that are being marketed to treat pain as well as other ailments. The marketing campaign, including televised promotions by retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre, have resulted in substantial increases in sales to athletes, the elderly, and others, although the products are alleged to have little or no therapeutic value. DOJ further believes that Tricare, the health insurance program for US military veterans and their families, may have been fraudulently billed for overcharged or automatically refilled prescriptions that were never ordered.
World Health Industries, also doing business as Aspire Rx, and claiming to be “the pre-eminent provider of compounding pharmacy services in the U.S.” is one of the companies under investigation. Its product, Rx Pro has been promoted by Mr. Favre, who also claimed to be an investor in the organization, in a 2003 radio interview. Under federal law, compounding pharmacies don’t have to prove the efficacy or safety of their products. The industry is primarily regulated by states, which exercise varying degrees of scrutiny. Additionally, compounded creams frequently are not subject to FDA approval because it is considered impractical to test all the variations. The full article on the investigation may be read here
Click here to link to the Wall Street Journal article.