Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Not everybody reads the legal notices inside the Ottumwa Courier. But in January, Iowa pharmacist Mark Frahm noticed something unusual in the paper. For years, Frahm's South Side Drug bought pills from distributors, and dispensed prescriptions to the Wapello County jail. In turn, the pharmacy got reimbursed for the drugs by CVS Health Corp., which managed the county's drug benefits plan. As he compared the newspaper notice with his own records, and then with the county's, Frahm saw that for a bottle of generic antipsychotic pills, CVS had billed Wapello County $198.22. But South Side Drug was reimbursed just $5.73. So why was CVS charging almost $200 for a bottle of pills that it told the pharmacy was worth less than $6? And what was the company doing with the other $192.49?



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But...the private market is so much more efficient than government....

#1 | Posted by Sycophant at 2018-09-11 04:38 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

you try creative business practices like that and the prosecuting attorney will be happy to explain the error of your ways.
However...if your business plan includes budgetary allowances for state and federal lobbyists, a generous stock procurement procedure available to the supportive financially savvy legislators..a willingness to hire friends, and family, and family friends etc. You may do all right.

#2 | Posted by ABlock at 2018-09-11 04:46 PM | Reply

National Geographic photographer pays $3 for insulin in Africa, without even using his health insurance. Stateside he pays $100 co-pay for the same thing and insurance pays $500 more. There are thousands of these stories. It's outrageous.Our country is controlled by criminals. Silly voters that think they live in a democracy don't count.

#3 | Posted by bayviking at 2018-09-11 05:06 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

I'm stunned it's taken this long to follow to money to these PBM's and their lobbyist groups.

No wonder CVS is always on the financial news. For years and years I couldn't really comprehend what about that company was meant to be disseminated and to whom.

All states should follow suit and dropkick these business managers.

#4 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2018-09-11 05:23 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

A friend of mine used to own his own pharmacy. He would frequently lose money on scripts. He showed me a couple of examples, one he was paying 9 cents a pill but the PBM was only allowing 7 cents. Another he was out 1.23 per pill but the PBM only paid out .89. He did make money on some pills and some insurance plans but ultimately he had too many patients on meds he lost money on. He sold his business to Walgreens and took a job there as pharmacy manager.

Independent pharmacies are dying fast and right here is the reason.

#5 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2018-09-11 06:29 PM | Reply

A few years ago the wife and I went to Costa Rica for about 5 weeks. She takes an arthritis medication and mistakenly didn't bring enough to last the entire trip. We walked into a pharmacy in Costa Rica and showed them the script, they handed us a months supply for around $12 dollars. Just the co-pay here is $25 on our plan. What's wrong with this picture?

#6 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2018-09-12 08:26 AM | Reply

Trump BEFORE meeting with Pharmaceutical execs: "We have to get prices down," he says at the beginning of the meeting with cameras rolling. "We have no choice."

Then the doors were closed. When they opened again, Trump had not only abandoned his promise to use the government's bargaining power to bring down drug prices, he was now totally against it!

Trump AFTER meeting with Pharmaceutical execs:

"I'll oppose anything that makes it harder for smaller, younger companies to take the risk of bringing their product to a vibrantly competitive market," he said, according to the pool reporter. "That includes price-fixing by the biggest dog in the market, Medicare, which is what's happening." (Yes, he accused an agency that has no power to negotiate prices of "price-fixing.")


#7 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-09-12 02:08 PM | Reply

Forgive the obvious, but:

I. Cartel -- an association of manufacturers or suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition.

e.g: "The Colombian drug cartels."


II. United States Antitrust Law -- is a collection of federal and state government laws that regulates the conduct and organization of business corporations, generally to promote fair competition for the benefit of consumers. (The concept is called competition law in other English-speaking countries.) The main statutes are the Sherman Act of 1890, the Clayton Act of 1914 and the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914. These Acts, first, restrict the formation of cartels and prohibit other collusive practices regarded as being in restraint of trade. Second, they restrict the mergers and acquisitions of organizations that could substantially lessen competition. Third, they prohibit the creation of a monopoly and the abuse of monopoly power.


1. For a general framework, see Thibault Schrepel, A New Structured Rule of Reason Approach for High-Tech Markets, Suffolk University Law Review, Vol. 50, No. 1, 2017 at ssrn.com

2. US Antitrust Laws

#8 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-09-12 06:46 PM | Reply

"I. Cartel -- an association of manufacturers or suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition."

Thanks, Capitalism!

#9 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-09-12 10:33 PM | Reply

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