AG Wants Tougher Rules For Middlemen Buying Drugs For State Programs

Apr 22, 2019

Ohio’s attorney general wants lawmakers to make changes to the way the state deals with pharmacy benefits managers. Those are the private companies that handle prescription drug buys for its current and retired employees, Medicaid recipients and the workers’ comp system.

Attorney General Dave Yost wants one centralized state contract with all pharmacy benefits managers. He says that should eliminate the secrecy that he thinks has allowed PBMs to overcharge the state.

“Just as a guess, I’m thinking certainly tens of millions of dollars are on the table here," Yost said.

Yost also wants the auditor to have complete authority to review PBM contracts, purchases and payments; for PBMs to have the legal obligation to act in the state’s best interest; and to ban non-disclosure agreements with PBMs. 

Yost said he’s talked to more than a dozen lawmakers about his proposal.

Last year Ohio Medicaid reported the state paid $224 million more to PBMs in 2017 than those PBMs paid to pharmacies.