Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) sent document requests to five secondary drug distributors that he says buy and sell drugs in short supply.
Lawmaker queries secondary drug distributors
The companies include Allied Medical Supply, Miami; Superior Medical Supply, Superior, Colo.; Premium Health Services, Columbia, Md.; PRN Pharmaceuticals, Rockville, Md.; and Reliance Wholesale, Miami.
Cummings said in a news release that he has “been working with a network of hospital, pharmacy and government representatives to investigate the extent to which ‘gray market’ middleman companies are making substantial profits by engaging in a form of drug speculation.”
Hospitals have said they are solicited by secondary drug distributors that offer to sell drugs in short supply often at 20 times the price they pay for a drug purchased on contract from a wholesaler. There have been 213 reported drug shortages as of Sept. 30, compared with 211 for the full year of 2010, according to the University of Utah Drug Information Service,
Cummings is requesting that the companies provide information about how they obtain drugs in short supply and their profit when selling these drugs.
“I look forward to meeting Congressman Cummings to highlight the inefficiencies that have led to the shortages we are facing,” said Dan Herlihy, owner of Premium Health Services, in an e-mailed statement.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.