The report criticises the unit’s pharmaceutical management practices, citing the inefficient use of Department of Defense (DoD) funds …reports Asian Lite News
A Pentagon report reveals that during the Trump administration, the White House Medical Unit, under the White House Military Office, failed to adhere to federal guidelines, providing prescription drugs, including controlled substances, to ineligible staff. The report, released on Jan. 8, outlines instances where the unit spent excessively on brand-name drugs instead of cost-effective generic equivalents.
In violation of federal law, ineligible staff members received free specialty care and surgery at military medical facilities, further compromising compliance, Reuters reported citing the report.
The report criticises the unit’s pharmaceutical management practices, citing the inefficient use of Department of Defense (DoD) funds and heightened risks of controlled substance diversion.
Lack of effective controls to ensure safety standards compliance, absence of oversight by Military Health System leaders, and an increased risk to patient health and safety are highlighted in the report. Notably, the unit spent $46,500 on Ambien, a brand-name sleeping medication, which was 174 times more than the generic equivalent’s cost for the same doses.
Similarly, $98,000 was spent on Provigil, a brand-name stimulant, 55 times more than the generic equivalent’s cost.
The report underscores the improper disbursement of drugs without patient identity verification, particularly opioids and sleeping medications, which were poorly tracked using error-filled or unreadable handwritten records.
The investigation, conducted by the Pentagon’s Office of the Inspector General from September 2019 to February 2020, spans 2009 to 2018, covering the administrations of both Barack Obama and Donald Trump. However, the focus is primarily on 2017-2019 during Trump’s presidency.
In response to the report, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, Lester Martinez-Lopez, concurred with all recommendations, signaling acknowledgment of the need for corrective actions and improved adherence to federal guidelines within the White House Medical Unit.
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