County OKs settlement

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Board of Supervisors recently took action on two pharmacy-related resolutions, including one involving a legal settlement.

The board accepted a $2,282 final settlement in ongoing litigation involving Medicaid overcharges during its meeting at the County Office Building.

Supervisors in 2004 authorized a legal services agreement with the New York City-based law firm of Kirby, McIlnerney & Squire to conduct a joint lawsuit. The lawsuit was coordinated with the New York State Association of Counties and other counties to recover Medicaid overcharges from pharmaceutical companies.

Fulton County has spent the last several years involved in legal action against a number of pharmaceutical companies. The lawsuit alleges the companies fraudulently reported inflated average wholesale prices for their drugs, on which Medicaid payments are based.

Through last week’s action, the board accepted a final settlement submitted by Kirby, McIlnerney & Squire. The board said the matter involved AWP Pharmacy Litigation versus Abbott Labs of North Chicago, Ill.

The board also authorized extension of a contract with Pro Act Inc. of Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County, to provide a Pharmacy Discount Card Program for Fulton County residents through 2014 and 2015.

Extension of the contract was recommended by county Purchasing Agent Jon Stead.

Officials say the county government program has saved county residents hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years.

The program began in early 2008, when the Board of Supervisors partnered with Pro Act. The two entities sponsored a prescription drug discount card to help defray the rising cost of prescription medication for area residents. County residents who have prescription drug coverage can still use the card to save money on drugs not covered by their health plans.

In a separate action, the board proclaimed March as “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month” in Fulton County.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com