Close the drug loophole

The Toledo Blade | Editorial Board

Ohio should take a lesson from its experience with the complex and tricky field of negotiating for prescription drugs. The episode has revealed the pitfalls of decentralization and excessive trust in the marketplace.

Until a newspaper investigation peeled back the opaque surface layers, the pharmacy-benefits manager law enabled drug middlemen to earn millions of dollars in Ohio under the cloak of legal confidentiality and even gag orders at the unfair expense of pharmacists and the clients who got their prescription drugs from Medicaid.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has proposed some fixes…

The attorney general has sued one PBM on behalf of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to recover nearly $16 million in overcharges. The lawsuit accuses the company of inflating the prices it charged BWC.

The attorney general’s office is also examining seven other PBM contracts with state agencies, including the departments of Medicaid and Administrative Services, the Ohio Highway Patrol, and the pension funds for state public employees, school employees, teachers, police, and firefighters.

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