pharmacy benefit managers

Consumer groups want antitrust probe of hospital suppliers

BY: - November 29, 2022

The middlemen who buy things like medical equipment for hospitals have vastly consolidated their control of the marketplace in recent decades, nine consumer groups are saying.  Now the groups want the Federal Trade Commission to mount a formal investigation to see if the companies are stifling competition among medical suppliers, artificially raising costs and unnecessarily […]

Newest federal regulator wants the little guy to be the focus of antitrust enforcement

BY: - November 14, 2022

From groceries to prescriptions to paychecks, the modern American business landscape makes it increasingly difficult for poorer Americans to get what they need to survive, Alvaro Bedoya, the newest member of the Federal Trade Commission, said in an interview late last month. The consequences have taken the form of food and pharmacy "deserts" and in a paucity of jobs that pay a living wage. "I want to focus on the folks at the bottom of the ladder and are trying to move up and not fall off," he said.

Tax-funded care provider in Ohio makes political donations — in Nevada

BY: - November 7, 2022

Medicaid managed-care provider Centene has already gotten in trouble in Ohio. Then on Friday came the news that its tax-funded Ohio subsidiary has been making political contributions 2,200 miles away in Nevada. Kaiser Health News reported that Centene’s Buckeye Health Plan and many other of its state-level Medicaid subsidiaries have each made $10,000 donations to […]

Health care giant confirms $15M settlement — two days after denying it

BY: - October 31, 2022

A prescription middleman on Friday confirmed that it has promised to pay Ohio $15 million to settle fraud claims against it. When the state announced the deal two days earlier, the company denied it had been finalized. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on Wednesday announced that pharmacy benefit manager OptumRx had agreed to pay $15 […]

Antitrust regulator takes aim at drug middlemen

BY: - September 30, 2022

The newest member of the Federal Trade Commission last week said that for decades his agency hasn’t served the historical mission of the agency — fairness. And in decrying the rise of megacorporations that dominate vast ranges of services in some economic sectors, he cited pharmacy middlemen as exhibit A. Alvaro Bedoya in May was […]

With new acquisition, CVS to get bigger and broader, raising concerns

BY: - September 14, 2022

When CVS Health announced last week that it was buying Signify Health for $8 billion, executives with both companies said it will help them to more effectively deliver care. But some observers are concerned that it means CVS and rival UnitedHealth Group are extending their dominance into yet another aspect of American health care. Dallas-based […]

11th state settles with Medicaid contractor over conduct first uncovered in Ohio

BY: - August 29, 2022

Centene, the largest Medicaid contractor in the United States, has settled with an 11th state over conduct that was initially detected in Ohio. On Aug. 24, a deal was announced between Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and St. Louis-based Centene to settle claims that Centene’s pharmacy benefit manager had overbilled the state’s Medicaid system, Reuters […]

Diabetes activists applaud drug reforms, say more needs to be done

BY: - August 19, 2022

Pricing reforms under a sweeping law signed on Tuesday by President Joe Biden are great for diabetics, but much more needs to be done, an activist said Wednesday. As part of the Inflation Reduction Act, monthly out-of-pocket insulin costs for Medicare recipients were capped by the law at $35 a month. Together with capping all […]

Experts: Dems’ drug measures are good for seniors. But there are downsides

BY: - August 12, 2022

The sweeping Inflation Reduction Act passed by Democrats in the U.S. Senate on Sunday takes on an issue that Americans have been screaming about for years: the high cost of prescription drugs. But while it will bring immediate relief to millions of seniors, several experts have said it may dampen development of new drugs and new uses for existing ones. And, they say, it fails altogether in addressing one of the fundamental drivers of increasing drug costs for all Americans — the massive, non-transparent system of rebates charged by drug middlemen.

As new Medicaid prescription program nears, some Ohio pharmacists are worried

BY: - August 9, 2022

Ohio’s community pharmacists are still worried that the state Medicaid program might drive them out of business — and deprive some communities of access to medicine. After years of complaints about under-payment and possible profiteering off of prescription drugs, the legislature in 2019 directed the Department of Medicaid to undertake a bold reform.  Instead of […]

Deep inside the gun bill: a break for drug middlemen

BY: - June 22, 2022

Many Americans across the political spectrum are clamoring for federal action on guns in the wake of a mass shooting at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, a Buffalo, N.Y., grocery store and hundreds of other mass shootings. But buried in a bipartisan compromise hashed out by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday is an unrelated provision they might not be so happy about. Apropos of nothing, the gun bill would enhance the exemption drug middlemen working with Medicare have from the federal "Anti-Kickback Statute." 

Feds to probe drug rebates

BY: - June 20, 2022

The Federal Trade Commission last week announced what some observers believe could be a game-changer when it comes to the rising cost of prescription drugs. The agency — which is meant to protect fair competition — said it would look into the murky practice by which drugmakers grant rebates and other fees to insurer-owned pharmacy […]