Oregon is the latest state to win a large financial settlement from health insurance giant Centene Corp. stemming from alleged overcharging by Centene’s pharmacy benefit management program. Centene will pay Oregon $17.8 million to settle allegations the company overcharged the Medicaid-funded Oregon Health Plan. Centene’s pharmacy program failed to provide certain discounts on drugs for Oregon Medicaid patients, resulting in the state paying inflated pharmacy fees to Centene, according to the state. Oregon is at least the 13th state to secure a financial settlement from Centene regarding Centene’s pharmacy management practices in the last couple of years, according to news reports and Centene’s financial disclosures.
The Lund Report
The Oregon Health Authority is offering a supplemental pay incentive for pharmacies that administer doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, in order to help boost vaccination rates in the state. The supplemental pay is $35 for each individual dose of vaccine administered. The state is also offering to pay temporary pharmacists to help strengthen the workforce, but only to independent pharmacies and not chains. Oregon pharmacies must apply for the state payments and meet basic equity criteria to be qualified.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown recently passed Senate Bill 763, which was designed to prevent pharmaceutical sales representatives from marketing and selling higher-cost medications to providers when cheaper alternatives are available. The law requires representatives to obtain a license before promoting pharmaceutical products, as well as submit sample and spend disclosures to the state's Department of Consumer andBusiness Services (DCBS). SB 763 goes into effect January 1, 2022.
Policy & Medicine
On Monday, June 15, Oregon became the last state to end its prescription requirement for medications that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine when Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 2648 into law. The bill has an emergency clause, but the new requirements officially take effect on January 1st, 2022. This law allows pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to give these drugs to a patient at least 18 years of age along with a government ID, without also requiring any prescriptions for the drug.
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