PUTT's Model Legislation Update
Last month PUTT presented our proposed model legislation, the Pharmacy and Pharmacy Patient Protection Act (PPA), at the 48th annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Salt Lake City, UT. The presentation before ALEC’s Health and Human Services Committee marks the second time our proposed policy has been heard and debated by the committee, which comprises more than 200 members from the public and private sector. We owe a debt of gratitude to Sen. Nancy Barto (R-AZ) who sponsored our bill and went to bat for its necessity both before and after our presentation and to Miguel Rodriguez of the Texas Pharmacy Business Council, who co-authored and helped present the bill.
ALEC, for those not familiar, favors limited government, free markets, and federalism - but if the reaction during the Q & A section of our presentation is any indication, even the most staunch “limited government” ALEC members see the need to rein in the largest PBMs from their massive overreach in the marketplace...
Cutting directly to the chase, the PPA was tabled a second time, but was well-received and roundly supported by many of the public sector members present. A number of state legislators spoke with us afterward, voicing their support and asking questions about next steps on the bill. More than one legislator expressed concern that the PPA didn’t go far enough, and should do more to protect pharmacies and patients (to which we say, “Yes! We agree!”)
ACROSS THE NATION
In Court Drug Middlement Fight to Limit Pharmacies Insured Patients Can Use
Ohio Capital Journal
September 7, 2021
In the first test of a 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, drug middlemen last week argued that federal law gives them a crucial right to limit what pharmacies patients with health insurance can use — or at least make it more expensive if patients get their medicine at a shop that isn’t preferred by the powerful corporations.
A lawyer for an industry group argued that the right to limit pharmacy networks is important to ensure quality. But he failed to note that the three biggest middlemen are owned by health care giants that own pharmacies themselves.
The argument is likely to add grist for those who claim that the Fortune 15 corporations are engaged in practices that are driving up costs and driving out competitors.
The industry group, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, made the arguments last Wednesday before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. It was a rehearing of a 2020 ruling that struck down North Dakota’s attempts to regulate businesses known as pharmacy benefit managers.