Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is ramping up his investigation into the costly practices of pharmacy middlemen, hiring outside counsel to assist with a probe he expects to lead to litigation. The study said PBM fees should be in the range of 90 cents to $1.90 per prescription. CVS Caremark billed the state about $5.60 per script; Optum charged $6.50 — three to six times higher.
“Today, I am putting PBMs on notice that their conduct is being heavily scrutinized, and any action that can be taken and proven in court will be filed to protect Ohio taxpayers and the millions of Ohioans who rely on the pharmacy benefits provided,” DeWine said.
DeWine, who also is campaigning for Ohio governor, said in a statement that since the end of 2017, his office has been reviewing and investigating issues regarding pharmacy benefit managers, which do contract work with not only Ohio Medicaid but also other Ohio agencies, such as the Ohio Department of Medicaid, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the Ohio Department of Administrative Service. “It is clear that the conduct by PBMs in these areas remains a major concern, and we anticipate that our investigation will result in major litigation against PBMs,” DeWine stated.