Author

Marty Schladen

Marty Schladen

Marty Schladen has been a reporter for decades, working in Indiana, Texas and other places before returning to his native Ohio to work at The Columbus Dispatch in 2017. He's won state and national journalism awards for investigations into utility regulation, public corruption, the environment, prescription drug spending and other matters.

CVS sometimes forces people to use its pharmacies. Now the Supreme Court will weigh in

By: - November 8, 2021

CVS Health and other massive corporations often use their pharmacy middleman subsidiaries to force people to get the most expensive class of drugs from the businesses’ own mail-order pharmacies. Some call the practice “patient steering.” CVS and companies such as UnitedHealth and ExpressScripts/Cigna say the arrangements save patients money. But some patients, oncologists and other […]

In court, drug middlemen fight to limit pharmacies insured patients can use

By: - September 8, 2021

In the first test of a 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, drug middlemen last week argued that federal law gives them a right to limit which pharmacies patients with health insurance can use — or at least make it more expensive if patients get their medicine at a shop that isn’t preferred by the corporations. […]

Centene agrees to settle Medicaid fraud claims with Ohio, Mississippi for $143 million

By: - June 14, 2021

In what could be a harbinger of more settlements, Medicaid managed-care contractor Centene Corp. on Monday settled potential fraud claims by Ohio and Mississippi for $88.3 million and $55 million, respectively. Ohio is the only state to file suit so far alleging improper double billing through Centene’s pharmacy middlemen. But Mississippi, Kansas, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma and […]

Eleven generic versions of an HIV drug rush onto the market — and list prices go up

By: - June 2, 2021

The health care system is supposed to incentivize the development of wonder drugs and then apply market forces to squeeze prices to a minimum. But a new report shows how at least for one drug, incentivizing is working a lot better than price-squeezing. At least when insurance is involved. For example, Blueberry Pharmacy in the […]

U.S. not using emergency powers to speed production of COVID vaccine

By: - December 21, 2020

U.S. Surgeon Jerome Adams on Saturday said last week during a visit to Ohio that the federal government has invoked the Defense Production Act hundreds of times in the fight against coronavirus. But it is not using it to speed production of two vaccines that now have been approved. At a press conference during a […]