Rutledge Calls for Federal Legislation to Return Prescription Drug Settlement Money to the States
May 17, 2017
Joins 50 other attorneys general in letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman and Ranking Member
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has sent a letter to U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) calling on them to introduce legislation that would allow the federal government to return prescription drug settlement money to the states.
“If Arkansas and other states are going to continue to share the burden of funding this important prescription drug benefit, then it is only logical that when fraud occurs the states receive a share of the money,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans expect to be treated honestly and fairly in the marketplace, but right now the states are being forced into a bad deal with the federal government.”
At issue is a prescription drug benefit, known as Medicare Part D, for individuals covered by both the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which are paid for by the federal government and states. Over the last decade, the federal government has recovered tens of millions of dollars in pharmaceutical settlements involving Part D drugs; however, the states have never received any share of the money.
“A specific statute authorizing the federal government to share recoveries with the states is appropriate here as a matter of equity and fundamental fairness,” the attorneys general write in the letter. “We request your assistance in addressing this inequity and recommend federal legislation that would allow the federal government to return a proportionate share of all Part D recoveries to the states.”
Led by attorneys general from Ohio and North Carolina, Rutledge is joined on the letter by attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.