Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced that his office has reached an $18.325 million settlement in a lawsuit brought against McKesson Corporation for an alleged scheme to inflate the price of drugs prescribed for beneficiaries of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS Ohio), and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).
“I am pleased that a settlement has been reached in this case and restitution has been made to two of our public pension systems and the BWC,” DeWine said. "When companies mark up prices, it increases costs for our pension systems, workers’ compensation system as well as their retirees and beneficiaries.”
“BWC has taken a number of steps to ensure injured workers are receiving the quality medical care and prescriptions they need at the most reasonable cost possible,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “We work hard to protect the dollars employers pay into our system, and are pleased that, thanks to Attorney General DeWine’s diligence, to put these dollars back to work protecting Ohioans injured on the job.”
“We appreciate the attorney general’s diligence in helping OPERS protect its health care trust fund from abuse,” said Karen Carraher, OPERS executive director. “We believe health care coverage is an important part of retirement security and will remain vigilant to protect the discretionary health care fund.”
“STRS Ohio is pleased to have partnered with the Attorney General’s office in the action against McKesson,” said Michael Nehf, STRS Ohio’s executive director. “We want to be clear that we will remain steadfast in our resolve to protect the retirement system’s assets. Having access to health care coverage in retirement is important to our members and retirees, and STRS Ohio will do what is necessary to safeguard these funds.”
The Attorney General’s lawsuit, filed in May 2013, accused the company of a conspiracy to inflate average wholesale prices of hundreds of brand-name drugs that are used by OPERS, STRS Ohio, and the BWC to set prescription drug reimbursement rates.
McKesson is a San Francisco-based pharmaceutical and medical products distribution company and is one of the largest wholesalers in the country.
The gross settlement funds are allocated to OPERS, STRS Ohio, and BWC, as follows:
STRS Ohio: $6,067,957.25