Governor prefers private solution to pharmacy reimbursement rate controversy
Little Rock (Talk Business & Politics) —
Governor Asa Hutchinson is hoping that the parties involved in the pharmaceutical business can find a marketplace solution versus a legislative solution despite increased scrutiny from the Arkansas Attorney General and state Insurance Department.
Beginning in January 2018, certain insurance plans in the state health exchange provided substantially lower drug reimbursement rates for Arkansas pharmacists. The differential led to nearly universal pharmacists’ claims that they were losing money on prescriptions.
Last week, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced she would investigate the price changes as part of a potential Deceptive Trade Practices Act violation. The Arkansas Insurance Department said it has received many complaints from pharmacists about deficient rates and encouraged Rutledge to investigate them as it is beyond the scope of the insurance agency’s authority.
In a wide-ranging interview with Talk Business & Politics, Hutchinson said he has met with insurance carriers, pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), and pharmacists to discuss the situation, and hopes that a private solution can be found.
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