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The military went from spending $23 million on compounded drugs in 2010 to $1.7 billion by the first nine months of the 2015 fiscal year.
Tricare stopped paying for the controversial pain creams – a big business for pharmacies like RXpress – in May 2015 so that federal authorities could investigate fraud suspicions. The government also suspended Tricare payments to some pharmacies, saying they filled prescriptions for doctors who may not have even seen patients.
But RXpress and other pharmacies quickly spun off a new line of business involving lab tests — and Tricare is picking up the tab. Tricare is now spending millions of dollars for DNA tests that use a cheek swab to measure one’s cancer risk and reactions to certain drugs.
Although lucrative for pharmacies, genetic tests have shown mixed results. And federal officials suspect fraud is also creeping into that industry.