Yost, lawmakers demand transparency from CVS on possible abuse

The Columbus Dispatch | Marty Schladen

A group of Ohio legislative leaders and the state auditor said Wednesday they don’t know if the companies that handle billions in state drug business have a duty to protect taxpayers.

They called a press conference at the Statehouse to explain their plans to investigate whether Medicaid pharmacy contracts are fair to both retail pharmacists and Ohio taxpayers.

The Dispatch on Tuesday detailed pharmacists’ concerns that CVS Caremark is using its dominance of two parts of the pharmacy marketplace to pad profits at taxpayer expense while driving out retail competition. CVS has denied the accusation.

“We need certain data that we just don’t have yet,” said House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville.

He added that he and colleagues would craft legislation that would give Ohio Auditor Dave Yost access to now-confidential information he would need to audit CVS contracts with Ohio Medicaid managed-care companies.

Yost said he has the authority to access information about the managed-care companies, but not their contractors.

“Our job includes doing Medicaid provider audits,” he said. “The (pharmacy-benefit managers) do not qualify under statute as a Medicaid provider.”

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