Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost takes pharmacy benefit manager OptumRx to court

The Columbus Dispatch | Catherine Candisky

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is suing pharmacy middleman OptumRx to recover $16 million in overcharges to the state for prescription drugs.

In a lawsuit filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on Friday, Yost demanded repayment after first seeking mediation in the dispute on behalf of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, which hired OptumRx to manage pharmacy benefits for injured workers.

“It’s been 30 days, and we only just now have a meeting scheduled to talk,” Yost said. “Time’s up; give us our money.”

As required under the bureau’s contract with OptumRx, the state first sought unbinding mediation with the company.

According to the attorney general, the overcharges stem from OptumRX’s failure to adhere to agreed-upon discounts on generic drugs for nearly three years, as required under the company’s contract with the state agency.

The lawsuit is part of a broader state investigation into pharmacy benefit managers hired by the bureau and Department of Medicaid to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers and reimburse pharmacists for filling prescriptions.

“Our review of PBM practices throughout state government is still ongoing,” Yost said. “These are the first raindrops, but there’s a storm a-comin’.”

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