Trending News Today: Black Market HIV Drug Distribution

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

New York auditors revealed that the state’s Medicaid system accounted for 2.3 million in payments for dead patients, reported The Wall Street Journal. In the audit report, claims were processed and paid weekly, averaging approximately 7 million claims, and more than $1 billion in payments to providers. Auditors identified 119 deceased individuals enrolled in Medicaid, and 1177 enrollees who died and were not automatically removed. The state health department said they are continuing to pursue other overpayments.

A new study found that from 2000 to 2010, hypertension rates in middle- and lower-income countries increased by nearly 8 percentage points, a rate that is now higher than high-income countries. According to The Washington Post, the prevalence of hypertension is at a record high worldwide, with an estimated 1.39 billion adults with high blood pressure in 2010, versus 921 million in 2000. The East Asia and Pacific region has the highest rate, followed by the South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa regions.

The state attorney general’s office announced that a Long Island pharmacist and his company Chaparral Services Ltd, were convicted of charges related to illegal distribution of black-market HIV medication, reported The Wall Street Journal. The 63-year-old pharmacist, Ira Gross, was found guilty by a Suffolk County jury of grand larceny for charges that included criminal diversion of prescription medication and conspiracy. Chaparral Services was found guilty of commercial bribing and money laundering.