Medicare spent $2 billion for corticotropin over 5 years

A CNN analysis of publicly identified prescribers found that more than 80% of doctors who filed Medicare claims in 2016 for corticotropin (H.P. Acthar Gel—Mallinckrodt; Questcor) received money or other perks from the drugmakers. The drug is best known for treating a rare infant seizure disorder.

A CNN analysis of publicly identified prescribers found that more than 80% of doctors who filed Medicare claims in 2016 for corticotropin (H.P. Acthar Gel&#8212;Mallinckrodt; Questcor) received money or other perks from the drugmakers. The drug is best known for treating a rare infant seizure disorder. The analysis&#8212;which looked at doctors who filed more than 10 Part D claims&#8212;found that the drugmakers paid 288 prescribers more than $6.5 million for consulting, promotional speaking, and other services between 2013 and 2016. Mallinckrodt purchased Questcor in 2014. At about the same time, Medicare spending on corticotropin increased more than tenfold over 6 years.<br>Medicare spent nearly $2 billion on the drug from 2011&#8211;16, according to the agency's data. Medicare spending on corticotropin from 2013&#8211;16 accounted for nearly $1.8 billion. Much of the rise in Medicare spending coincided with a marketing push by Mallinckrodt to target adults, especially older adults, according to company documents.