Cancer doctors got big reimbursements for restricted drug Procrit

Medicare paid American oncologists $128 million in 2012 to give their patients Procrit according to newly released data. The drug, approved in 1989 for anemia has been restricted for use as researchers learned around 2007, that it can speed tumor growth and hasten death of patients. Since 2007, the FDA began warning about risks and limited its use on some cancer patients.

Of the $128 million spent by Medicare, one-sixth of that went to a cancer group in For Meyers Florida, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Treatments with Procrit can be highly profitable. One New York state oncologist, who is number one in Medicare payments for Procrit billed $618,049 for its use on 17% of his patients.

Procrit is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. It is a drug which is an erythropoeisis stimulating agent which means it stimulates the growth of red blood cells.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.