Retail News Breaks Archives
Delaware Medicaid Rx agreement hinges on lawsuit status
August 14th, 2009
Walgreens operates Happy Harry's pharmacies in the state.
WILMINGTON, Del. – An agreement between Walgreen Co. and Delaware over Medicaid pharmacy reimbursements remains in a holding pattern as two drug retailer industry groups reassess a pending lawsuit against the state.
This week Walgreens and Delaware reached an agreement in principle for the drug chain to keep filling prescriptions for Medicaid patients in the state.
Walgreens in early June had announced that it would stop filling Medicaid prescriptions at its 66 Happy Harry's stores in Delaware, pointing to what it called excessive planned cuts in pharmacy reimbursements, and twice had extended its deadline for remaining in the program.
Walgreens and Delaware agreed in principle on Monday to a reimbursement rate of 85.5% of the average wholesale price (AWP), a bit more than the 85% rate that the state had accepted in earlier negotiations with the chain. Delaware wouldn't make the agreement official until the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association dropped their lawsuit against the state over planned reductions in pharmacy reimbursement rates.
In a hearing on the suit held Wednesday, the judge requested that the plaintiffs report back in two weeks concerning the proposed Walgreens-Delaware settlement, according to a spokeswoman for NACDS.
No ruling was made on the preliminary injunction the associations had requested in the suit, the spokeswoman said. NACDS is currently reviewing the Walgreens-Delaware settlement and mulling the next steps with members, she added.
Following the August 12 hearing, Rita Landgraf, secretary of Delaware Health and Social Services, said in a statement: "The pharmacy plaintiffs said today that they were giving serious consideration to the proposal that Walgreens has already said is acceptable. The court gave the parties two weeks to resolve their disputes and report back. As the plaintiffs' attorney conceded, the ball is in the plaintiffs' court. We look forward to hearing from them. While we hope the plaintiffs will follow Walgreens' lead and agree to the state's most recent proposal, the state is prepared to address this in court."