The identities of the top American Medicaid prescribers of “antipsychotic” drugs and the “anti-anxiety” drug Xanax are being released. The identities are being released in public record form for each state where available. Included in the records are the identities of the top prescribers of “pain-killers” OxyContin and Roxicodone.
The top prescribers were identified for the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Many of the top prescribers have now been booted from Medicaid.
Publicized cases such as psychiatrist Huberto Merayo. Merayo’s prescriptions according to Propublica for the drugs totaled nearly $2 million in 2009 alone while he at the same time “earned” more than $111,000 doing talks for drug companies AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly & Co. and Pfizer. You can also read here about others such as Melborne Williams, the top prescriber of Xanax in Kentucky.
The initial investigation focused on the top prescribers of psychiatric drugs, but this unexpectedly spawned action against prolific prescribers of pain pills as well. Several days ago, for example, the Palm Beach Post reported that Florida’s most prolific prescriber of oxycodone to the poor in 2010 and 2011 has been barred from Medicaid prescribing.
The complete story on the pushback against psychiatrists and now pain killer prescribers has yet to be told, but will be soon enough. If you are savvy at analyzing and evaluating, you can help tabulate and summarize the data, nationally, state by state. You can start with the first 2 states that are being released today.
California and Minnesota. See here.