“One Nation, Under Sedation”


ProPublica uses federal data and its online “Prescriber Checkup” tool to reveal that in 2013, when Medicare officially lifted its ban and started paying for benzodiazepine anti-anxiety drugs such as Valium, Xanax and Ativan, more than 40 million prescriptions worth more than $377 million were doled out.

“Fall River, Mass., psychiatrist Claude Curran wrote more than 11,700 prescriptions for benzodiazepines (including refills) in 2013, ranking him behind only four other doctors,” reports ProPublica. Other individual doctors’ prescribing patterns can be found using their online tool.

One Nation, Under Sedation: Medicare Paid for Nearly 40 Million Tranquilizer Prescriptions in 2013 (ProPublica, June 10, 2015)