Arkansas’ PBM law unanimously upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

TalkBusiness.net The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of an Arkansas law on a controversial pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) statute on Thursday (Dec. 10). The 19-page decision from the nation’s high court was unanimous. The ruling in Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association centered around Act 900, which was passed in Arkansas in 2015. Act 900 regulated pharmacy benefit managers, which act as middlemen between pharmacists and insurance providers. Their reimbursement rates theoretically incentivize pharmacies to find lower wholesale drug prices. Pharmacists said the PBMs’ reimbursement rates were too low – in fact, too often below the pharmacists’ cost of procurement. The Arkansas law requires PBMs to increase reimbursements for generic drugs if they are below wholesale costs, and it created an appeals process for pharmacies to challenge the reimbursements. When the law went into effect in September 2015, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, which represents PBMs, immediately sued. The industry argued that state laws …

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