State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) responded to today’s Ohio Department of Medicaid decision to fire the state’s pharmacy middlemen after reading an advance copy of Auditor Dave Yost’s report on the deceptive healthcare pricing scheme that cost Ohio taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Yost’s report is expected to be made publicly available tomorrow.
“Today’s decision to fire cheating big-pharma middlemen is proof positive of what many of us have been saying all along: big healthcare corporations have been ripping off Ohio consumers by hundreds of millions of dollars to line their own pockets and boost their own bottom line,” said West. “This decision is a win for consumers and small independent pharmacies alike, but we shouldn’t wait until January 1 to stop this rip off.”
The state said it will continue using the rigged system of prescription pricing through Jan. 1, until it switches to a pass-through pricing model when Gov. John Kasich’s term expires.
“The fact that this has been allowed to continue for so long is an insult to the hardworking taxpayers of Ohio who are concerned about accessing affordable and lifesaving healthcare,” added West. “It is troubling that the Administration is only taking action now, after being forwarded an advanced copy of Auditor Dave Yost’s report on this deceptive healthcare practice. More than just damage control, Ohioans deserve immediate and long-term solutions to a rigged system that has cost them a significant part of their paychecks in recent years.”
In June, the Ohio House passed House Bill 479, Rep. West’s bipartisan bill to crack down on PBMs by prohibiting gag rules that prevent pharmacists from informing consumers when they are overpaying for prescription drugs—a move that could put millions back into the pockets of Ohio consumers.