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Ohio AG Goes After Express Scripts, Humana, And Prime For Price-Fixing

 |  March 28, 2023

On Monday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sued six corporate entities over how they facilitate drug transactions. Yost filed the suit under the Valentine Act — Ohio’s antitrust law — accusing the companies of improperly colluding to fix prices and other actions regarding prescription drugs.

The main target of the lawsuit is St. Louis-based Express Scripts. It’s one of the three biggest drug middlemen in the United States.

Related: US: DOJ Oks Cigna/Express Scripts $52b merger

The three “pharmacy benefit managers” have a significant market share where they negotiate rebates with manufacturers and determine reimbursements to pharmacies while reconciling transactions at the drug counter.

Also being sued are Express Scripts’ corporate parents, Cigna and Evernorth, and Ascent Health Services, a “group purchasing organization” it started in 2019. In addition, the suit names as defendants Prime Therapeutics — a smaller PBM owned by Blue Cross and Blue Shield which co-owns Ascent — as well as Humana Pharmacy Solutions, an Ascent customer.