Bye Bye AWP Part 3

The federal district court held a hearing on October 24 in the RICO lawsuit against First Databank and McKesson that has yielded a proposed settlement with First Databank that would require the publisher to reduced its Average Wholesale Price (AWP) listings for over 8,00 drugs by 4 -5% and to stop publishing that AWP listing in 2008. Prescription benefit managers (PBM) often use the First Databank listings as a benchmark for their pricing deals with health plan customers.

The Court did not rule on the motion to approve the proposed settlement at the October 24 hearing. Rather, it granted in part a McKesson motion to unseal a declaration submitted by the plaintiffs’ lead attorney, according to my review of the court docket on PACER.

AP reports that publicly traded PBM stock prices fell on Wednesday October 25 based on investor concern over the impact that the proposed settlement would have on those companies. According to an AP report, “Wachovia Capital Markets analyst Matt Perry [in a note to clients] said shares of Express Scripts and other pharmacy benefit managers are down due to the potential impact on drug prices. But he said the issue should not “obscure what was truly a very strong quarter” for the company.