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.

Government programs mostly responsible for record low child poverty, report says

By: - September 16, 2022

Despite all the economic dislocation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, child poverty and uninsurance were at record lows last year, U.S. Census data show. And those lows are largely the result of large government interventions, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said in a statement that was published Tuesday. The percentage of Americans lacking health […]

Experts say drug measures in inflation bill are good for seniors, but there are downsides

By: - August 12, 2022

The sweeping Inflation Reduction Act passed by Democrats in the U.S. Senate on Sunday takes on an issue that Americans have been screaming about for years: The high cost of prescription drugs. But while it will bring immediate relief to millions of seniors, several experts have said it may dampen development of new drugs and […]

Arrest confirms Indiana abortion for 10-year-old rape survivor from Ohio

By: - July 13, 2022

Columbus, Ohio, police have arrested a 27-year-old on charges of raping 10-year-old who traveled to Indiana late last month for an abortion, The Columbus Dispatch reported Wednesday. Ohio Republican leaders, who passed and implemented a law making rape victims ineligible for abortions after six weeks, have been trying to raise doubts about the girl’s existence. […]

Deep inside the gun bill: A break for prescription drug middlemen

By: - June 23, 2022

Many Americans across the political spectrum are clamoring for federal action on guns in the wake of a mass shooting at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, a Buffalo, N.Y., grocery store and hundreds of other places. But buried in a bipartisan compromise hashed out by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday is an unrelated provision they might not be […]

Federal regulators launch investigation into drug rebates said to drive up prescription costs

By: - June 21, 2022

The Federal Trade Commission last week announced what some believe could be a game-changer when it comes to the rising cost of prescription drugs. The agency — which is meant to protect fair competition — said it would look into the murky practice by which drugmakers grant rebates and other fees to insurer-owned pharmacy middlemen […]

Expert: Hard to know if COVID variant will surge in U.S. or how badly

By: - March 25, 2022

The last thing people want to hear right now is that the coronavirus might have mutated yet again into yet another deadly variant, extending the pain, death and inconvenience of a pandemic that we long hoped would be over. However, whether the subvariant of omicron known as BA.2 will hit the United States as hard […]

St. Louis-based Medicaid giant Centene settles fraud allegations with Kansas for $27.6M

By: - December 8, 2021

St. Louis-based Centene, the nation’s largest Medicaid managed care provider, has settled fraud allegations with a fifth state, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Monday. The $27.6 million Kansas settlement comes after Mississippi, Illinois and Arkansas announced settlements totaling $154 million. All of those follow a settlement with Ohio — the only state to sue […]

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 […]