Ohio accuses pharmacy middlemen of 'driving up costs'

Ohio officials have directly accused PBMs with "driving up costs" in the tax-funded Medicaid program and hiding their activities behind a veil of secrecy.

Ohio officials have directly accused PBMs with "driving up costs" in the tax-funded Medicaid program and hiding their activities behind a veil of secrecy. The new accusation comes in a Franklin County court filing that fights CVS Caremark's effort to keep classified a $50,000 report detailing how PBMs charged higher-than-industry-standard prices for prescription drugs for Medicaid patients. "PBMs try to hide their activities, driving up costs and creating inefficiencies," assistant Attorney General Ara Mekhjian, representing the Department of Medicaid, argued in a motion to Common Pleas Court Judge Jenifer French. CVS has asked French for a temporary restraining order to block Medicaid's planned release of the 51-page report commissioned by the state, at least until it can redact information that it considers proprietary. French has scheduled a hearing on the matter for August 7. In his motion, Mekhjian urged French to release the entire report. In CVS's request for the temporary restraining order, it said that Medicaid officials "provided assurances proprietary information was only being provided to HDS and would not be further disclosed."