KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Pharmacies Sue States They Say Underpaid Them For Prescription Drugs

New York, California and Washington state have been sued by drug store groups who say their members were underpaid in Medicaid payments for prescription drugs.

Reuters: "The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and other smaller groups said in a statement that the states had not adjusted their reimbursement rates to reflect the new 'average wholesale price' for drugs, which was set on Sept. 26." A lawyer for the group says his clients could lose as much as $200 million annually over the reimbursement rates. Walgreen, a major pharmacy, has threatened to stop filling Medicaid prescriptions over reimbursement rates in Washington state and Delaware (Gralla, 9/30).

In other pharmacy news, The Associated Press reports: "A judge on Tuesday imposed $4.5 million in forfeitures on prescription drug company Pharmacia Inc. for misrepresenting prices and defrauding Wisconsin's Medicaid system." A jury said the company violated Medicaid law 1.44 million times in 10 years, though a judge later lessened that figure significantly to 4,578. State officials had wanted $212 million in forfeitures (Richmond, 9/30).

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