ABC KAIT8 News
The United States Supreme Court on Thursday, Dec. 10, sided with pharmacists regarding the Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) regulation.
Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) centered around Act 900. Arkansas passed the law in 2015 prohibiting PBMs from reimbursing local pharmacies at a lower rate than they pay to fill prescriptions.
PBM’s are the middleman between pharmacies and insurance companies.
The large organizations negotiate prices pharmacists pay, and in recent years, the amounts reimbursed to pharmacies have dropped.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said she believes this has left independently owned and rural pharmacies struggling, with more than 16 percent of rural pharmacies closing in recent years.
In its unanimous decision, the nation’s highest court ruled that Act 900 “amounts to cost regulation” and overturned the Eighth Circuit decision.
Following Thursday’s decision, Rutledge issued the following statement:
“This is an important unanimous win for not only locally owned pharmacies that have experienced financial hardships at the hands of pharmacy benefit managers, but more importantly, this is a win for all Arkansans and Americans to have access to affordable health care. I will always protect Arkansans and small businesses from unfair practices and fight to lower the costs of prescription drugs." - Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Attorney General
To read the SCOTUS decision, click here.