The New York Times reports on a General Accounting Office analysis that shows that the federal office managing Medicaid isn't getting the best prices on prescription drugs.
The Times reports: "the federal Medicaid agency rarely verified the accuracy of price data reported by drug manufacturers and used to compute the discounts required by law. As a result, they said, Medicaid, the nation's largest health insurance program, with more than 50 million beneficiaries, often pays too much for prescription drugs."
The story concludes: "Large amounts of money are at stake. In one case, Schering-Plough agreed last year to pay $345 million to the federal government and 50 state Medicaid programs, to resolve civil and criminal charges of fraud in the pricing of Claritin, the popular allergy drug. The government said Schering had concealed its best price, so Medicaid had paid far more than two managed care companies. The government learned of the case through a complaint filed by three former Schering employees."