The New Jersey Department of Human Services (“Department”) has sent letters to numerous pharmaceutical manufacturers demanding rebate payments under the Work First New Jersey General Public Assistance/Medicare Part D Wraparound Drug Rebate Program (“GA Rebate Program”). The Department is seeking to collect payments from manufacturers that have chosen not to participate in the GA Rebate Program and thus never entered into a GA Rebate Program agreement with the Department (“Rebate Agreement”). In addition, for some manufacturers that have entered into Rebate Agreements, the Department is now seeking payments for time periods prior to the effective dates of those Rebate Agreements.
The Department’s demand letters have uniformly provided the manufacturers with the option of requesting, within twenty (20) days from their receipt of the letter, either a pre-hearing conference for purposes of trying to resolve the payment dispute or a formal hearing before the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”). Manufacturers choosing to pursue a pre-hearing conference can still request a hearing before the OAL within twenty (20) days from the date of the pre-hearing conference if the dispute is not resolved.
We believe there are very strong arguments in support of the position that a manufacturer cannot be liable for payments under the GA Rebate Program in the absence of a Rebate Agreement covering the time period for which the payments relate.