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Thursday, August 24, 2006

More on Pill Pricejacking

Posted by on August 24 at 16:35 PM


As I promised in my post yesterday, The Stranger contacted the local Planned Parenthood affiliate to ask them about the impact of Ortho-McNeil’s steep pill-price hike on their clinics and clients. In a nutshell, they refused to talk about it. Kristen Glundberg-Prosser, the agency’s Director of Public Affairs, simply said, “We do not discuss any contractual agreements with have with Ortho.” I’m sort of mystified (and disappointed) by that dispassionate response, but clinic workers in upstate New York, West Virginia, and even North Dakota have plenty to say.

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The drug companies are more or less required to raise the prices to the *real* price because they've been ripping off state Medicaid programs for years. The state has also been reimbursing orgs like PP at a much higher price than what they pay for far too long (and PP doesn't want to admit, perhaps that it was getting reimbursed the $14 while paying 14 cents and, by extension, bilking the state). PP is no doubt frustrated but Ortho is not the bad guy in this story. You'll notice companies like Glaxo recently settled w/ the states (see Rob McKenna's press releases) to pay millions of dollars because they've been using shady pricing strategies on prescription drugs for years.

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