GAO: FDA Can’t Monitor Device Recalls

Merrill Goozner

First posted 6/21/11 on Gooz News

The Government Accountability Office has weighed in on the failure of the Food and Drug Administration to properly monitor medical device recalls. Its review of the 3,510 recalls between 2005 and 2009 — 40 percent of which were cardiovascular radiological or orthopedic devices — found:

Several gaps in the medical device recall process limited firms’ and FDA’s abilities to ensure that the highest-risk recalls were implemented in an effective and timely manner. For many high-risk recalls, firms faced challenges, such as locating specific devices or device users, and thus could not correct or remove all devices.

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Branded Prescription Drug Prices Increased Between 2006-2010 While Generic Prices Fell

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

First published 3/15/11 on Health Populi

The Federal government covers about $1 in every $3 of spending on prescription drugs in the U.S. That equates to $78 bn of the total $250 bn spent on Rx in 2009. Between 2006 and 2010, the indexed cost of the usual and customary price for commonly used branded prescription drugs grew by 8.3%; in that period the price of commonly used generic drugs fell by 2.6%. The General Accounting Office (GAO), those nonpartisan bean-counters in Washington DC, analyzed pricing trends of prescription drugs over the most recent five years, based on changes from first quarter to first quarter in each subsequent year.

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