In a letter to top FDA officials, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, raises concern about the practice of some pharmacies of substituting respiratory medications prescribed by medical providers with possibly unsafe drugs they've made themselves without notifying either the providers or patients. The process, called compounding, is common and allowed when patients are given specific prescriptions that are not commercially available, but Grassley said Medicare patients are targeted because pharmacies make more money billing Medicare at brand-name costs, while providing less-expensive pharmacy-made drugs.

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