In this month’s edition:
- The Heat is On: AmerisourceBergen discloses new subpoenas over gray market activity
- The Heat is Off: Big defeat for a bona fide fee AMP whistleblower lawsuit
- Just Hot Air? A semi-reasonable review of the presidential election’s competing Mediscare claims
Wholesaler Subpoenaed Over Controlled Drugs
In its August 9, 2012, 10-Q filing (for the quarter ending June 30), AmerisourceBergen (NYSE: ABC) disclosed subpoenas from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Attorney’s Office in New Jersey. (See page 11 of the 10-Q filing). According to ABC’s filing: “In addition to requesting information on ABDC’s diversion control program generally, the subpoenas also request documents concerning specific customers’ purchases of controlled substances.” Hmmm. You may recall that ABC was identified by a Senate report as a supplier to pharmacies that were diverting product into the gray market. (See New Senate Report IDs Gray Market Players, Including Some Surprising Names.) On the bright side, this means that the government is flirting with due process instead of the DEA’s usual suspend-first/litigate-later tactics (per Cardinal Fights a Misdirected DEA).
Lack of Regulatory Guidance Fatal to Some, But Not All Claims in AMP False Claims Act Case
Don’t be deterred by the scary legal title. This article summarizes a big decision in a case with ramifications for all brand-name manufacturers with wholesaler fee-for-service agreements, a.k.a., distribution service agreements, distribution performance agreements. For a summary of the case, see Drugmakers Charged With Defrauding Medicaid. The whistleblower in the lawsuit was none other than Ron Streck, former executive director of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association. (Hope they give John Gray a better retirement package!) Ironically, a good chunk of the case was tossed because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) failed to provide clear guidance regarding “bona fide service fees” until January 2012, as I posit in New AMP Rule Targets Bona Fide Service Fees.
Beneath 'Mediscare' talk, who's right?
The Presidential campaign is in full swing, with a renewed focus on semi-wonky health care policy issues. But how should you sort out the many competing claims and counterclaims about “throwing grandma off the cliff”? This interesting Politico article argues that both sides are right—and wrong. Regardless of your political persuasion or preferences, this is a decently balanced article.
Argument Between Employees Shatters Illusion Of Professionalism Traditionally Associated With Walgreens
The Onion, America’s Finest News Source, is quickly becoming my go-to source for pharmacy news. Something tells me that the article's writer has met the surly staff in my local Walgreens pharmacy, at 1617 John F Kennedy Boulevard.