Monday, March 21, 2011

Medco II -- On The Villalobos, To Merck/Medco, To CalPERS Connections -- From Pharmalot

Ed has a whole slurry of fascinating additional detail, this morning (on a story we mentioned over the weekend) -- including the 75-page (0.9 Mb PDF file here) Steptoe & Johnson report -- which is devastating in its omissions (primarily, the ommissions of any on the record exoneration, of the principal involved parties).

Do go read all of Ed Silverman's reporting -- but here is a bit of it:

. . . .Medco, which administers pharmacy benefits and runs a mail-order pharmacy, had lost a bid to renew that contract and hoped to win CaLPERS business in 2006. The PBM, in fact, did win the three-year, $26-million contract, but maintains Villalobos was not hired for that purpose. However, he was subsequently given an annual contract ending in 2009 that paid him $20,00 a month, which Medco says was “largely unrelated to CalPERS,” according to its filing.

The CalPERS investigation, though, notes that Villalobos “had no prior PBM counseling experience.” And Snow met with Villalobos and Fred Buenrostro, who was the CaLPERS ceo at the time, at Villalobos’ home in Lake Tahoe in early 2004. After that meeting, Medco hired Villalobos, according to the report, which was prepared by the Steptoe & Johnson law firm and Navigant Consulting. Several months later, Snow met with Villalobos, Buenrostro and three CalPERS board members: Charles Valdes, Kurato Shimada and Robert Carlson. . . .

This one sure seems headed toward indictments, based on a reading of the 75 page report.

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