AG wants federal funding restored

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has signed a letter with 50 other attorneys general from across the United States and Puerto Rico, asking for federal legislation to allow money from prescription drug settlements to return to the states.

The letter, addressed from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) to U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden, asks for money recovered from pharmaceutical fraud settlements involving the prescription drug benefit known as Medicare Part D be returned to the states. The NAAG estimates that over the last decade, the federal government has recovered tens of millions of dollars in fraud and over payment from cases involving Medicare Part D drugs. As part of the federal law, the states were required to pay a portion of the costs of prescription medicines but were not included in recovery settlement of false claims. Hunter said change in legislation is needed to ensure a fair partnership with the federal government.

“When Medicare Part D went into effect in 2006, the law did not include a reimbursement for the states after fraud charges had been settled,” Hunter said. “My colleagues throughout the United States and I encourage Congress to make the necessary changes to return a portion of this money to the states, which will enable us to put that money to use protecting more citizens.”

According to the NAAG, over the past decade states have contributed about $80 billion in payments to the federal government for prescription drugs covered by the Medicare Part D program. In 2017, payments from states are expected to rise to over $11 billion.