Chair Talk

May 2014

It appears that the winter of 2013/14 may be over at last. I am sure we all thought that spring would never arrive.

Generic Drug Costs Rising

I have been checking various websites about generic drugs and how the costs of generics are rising.

The pervasive use of generic over brand-name medications was anticipated to be a money-saver, but recently prices are soaring, even up 6,000 percent for some common drugs that were once fairly low-cost.

Generic drugs such as Pravastatin, which treats high cholesterol, and the antibiotic Doxycycline spiked upwards of 1,000 percent in 2013, according to a survey by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

According to the survey, 77 percent of pharmacists said they experienced 26 or more instances of a large increase in the acquisition price of a generic drug within the last six months of 2013.

Okrie Et Al v State of Michigan

The Court of Appeals issued an order granting the motion for oral argument in the Petition case challenging the constitutionality of the transfer of the Court of Claims from Ingham Circuit Court to the Court of Appeals. Oral argument will be held in the Court of Appeals’ courtroom on the 14th floor of the Cadillac Place, 3020 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan, at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Each side will be allowed one-half hour to address the Court of Appeals in a special session.† It is our hope that the oral argument proceeding will be well attended, as it represents an opportunity, denied by the Michigan Legislature in its haste to enact 2013 PA 164, to debate the constitutional merits of the Act. Please place this date on your calendarís and attend the oral arguments if you are able.

Retiree Health Care

There has been no decision on Retiree Health Care as of this date. Cheryl Streberger and I are still meeting with Employee Benefits and the Office of the State Employer. We expect a decision will be made by the July Civil Service Commission meeting. More meetings will be scheduled in the coming months.

Editor’s note: Bob Kopasz is Chair of the Michigan SERA Council. He may be reached at P.O. Box 692, Mt. Morris, MI 48458; phone 810/240-8380.