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Government & Politics

Gov. DeWine's Medicaid Vetoes Affect Pharmacy Benefit Managers

photo of governor Mike DeWine
JO INGLES
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says he hopes the single pharmacy benefit manager creates transparency.

Many of Gov. Mike DeWine’s 25 budget vetoes had to do with changes to Ohio’s Medicaid system. And part of that involves the two pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, the state uses as middlemen between Medicaid and pharmacists. The budget tries to rein in overspending on prescription drugs by moving to one single state-controlled PBM.

DeWine said he’s ok with going to the single PBM, but in his veto he said he wanted more flexibility for the state Medicaid department to do that. 

Antonio Ciaccia with the Ohio Pharmacists Association said DeWine’s vetoes made sure there is more transparency in the system.

“I don’t think the legislature’s intent was to allow for secrecy, but some of the wordsmithing of the language, looking at it, you could tell it would allow for a lot more things to be redacted than even in the current system,” he said.

Ciaccia said he’s wondering how the veto will affect $100 million targeted to smaller pharmacies with lots of Medicaid customers that have been hurt by the PBM’s payment structure.