The Sherman Antitrust Act

You are thinking.. what does the Sherman Antitrust Act has to do with patients getting their medications ?

The answer is rather simple… there is a provision of this Act called “Tying commerce”

Tying (informally, product tying) is the practice of selling one product or service as a mandatory addition to the purchase of a different product or service. In legal terms, a tying sale makes the sale of one good (the tying good) to the de facto customer (or de jure customer) conditional on the purchase of a second distinctive good (the tied good). Tying is often illegal when the products are not naturally related. It relates to freebie marketing as a common (and legal) method of giving away (or selling at a substantial discount) one item to ensure a continual flow of sales of another related item.

Which basically means that the selling party cannot force the buying party to buy something that they don’t want/need in order to be able to purchase something that they really want/need to purchase.

The drug wholesalers are rationing control meds purchases to the amount of non-control meds a pharmacy purchases…  Thus if a pharmacy wishes to buy a certain amount of control meds they are required to purchase a specific $$$ volume of non-controls meds… whether they need all the non-control meds or not and/or can purchase fewer control meds than they need to purchase to meet the needs of their pts.

The DEA denies forces the wholesalers to do this.. but…  statements from some of the wholesalers strongly suggests that there is a great deal of “pressure” from the DEA to do this.

Likewise, if a pharmacies if mandating a pt to purchase unnecessary  non-control meds in order to get the pharmacy to fill their controlled meds… this act would seem to apply as well… Likewise, if Medicare/Medicaid/Insurance is being charged for part or all of the cost of these non-controlled meds… this could possibly be seen as Medicare/Medicaid/Insurance fraud since the pt doesn’t have a valid medical necessity for the non-controls.


3 Responses

  1. […] Sherman Antitrust Act Violation […]

  2. My pharmacy told me that in order to fill my controlled medications prescirptions I was required to have 2 or 3 (or more) non-controlled medication prescriptions. When I asked why this was neccessary, they said the DEA told them that if the patient has an equal number of non-controlled prescriptions, then it doesn’t raise the red flag, whereas if the patient is only getting controlled substances (or meds associated with pain control muscle relaxer)and controlled pain medications) then a red flag is raised for the DEA to investigate and fine the pharmacy. They then go on to investigate the doctor and the patient.

    • What if you are like many chronic pain sufferers and have sustained injuries resulting in your pain? How does a doctor go about fixing a broken neck like I received in a 1991 auto accident. I was told by several doctors that surgery was my only option and it was about a 50/50 proposition for success. I just wanted to stand up and scream sign me up (SIC). Really, obviously I did not opt for the surgery and now still go to my PM every month. There are no other medications my doctor knows of that he could use to treat me. So what happens in this case?

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