Doctor Fired From State Board – Pocketed $700K From Big Rx

Governor takes steps to blunt industry influence on Medicaid

(NPR) In response to a joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and NPR into the influence of the drug industry on Medicaid, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey made significant changes to the state’s Medicaid program Friday

The changes include adding new transparency rules and kicking a doctor off a state committee.

Ducey, a Republican, told Dr. Mohamed Ramadan, who accepted more than $700,000 in perks and payments from drugmakers over four and a half years, to step down as a volunteer member of the committee that helps the state decide which drugs should be preferred for Medicaid patients, the Arizona Republic first reported.

The governor will also ask law enforcement officials to investigate Ramadan because the doctor appeared to violate the state’s existing conflict of interest statutes, according to Ducey’s spokesman Daniel Scarpinato.

“The governor was very alarmed when he saw this report,” Scarpinato said.

“He felt that action needed to be taken very swiftly here, that this was a clear example of where we need to make sure any decisions that are being made related to health care are being made with regard to public health and not related to any undue influence.”

Ramadan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ducey also issued an executive order Friday requiring the Medicaid drug committee members to receive annual conflict of interest training …

Read more at NPR.