From information provided by the National Community Pharmacists Association and Pharmaceutical Care Management Association: On January 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit issued a ruling in Pharmaceutical Care Management Association v. Gerhart. The ruling struck down an Iowa law that restricted tools used by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) issued the following statement: “Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a decision holding that ERISA preempts an Iowa statute that sought to impose common-sense regulations upon Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). See Pharm. Care Mgmt. Ass’n v. Gerhart, No. 15-3292 (8th Cir.). Although NCPA continues to study the decision, it is deeply disappointed with the outcome. The Iowa law was meant to ensure that Iowans continue to have fair access to their prescription drug benefits and bring transparency to a PBM industry that has exploited secrecy to reap record profits at the expense of hardworking Americans… NCPA worked to protect NCPA members’ interests by filing a friend-of-the-court brief with the Eighth Circuit explaining the virtues of the Iowa statute—a point that the court did not dispute—and why it was not preempted by ERISA. NCPA will continue to study the decision and determine how best to respond on behalf of its members.”
Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt said, “PBMs are part of the solution to high drug prices and use many tools to reduce prescription drug costs.” He added, “This federal appeals court decision sends an important signal that states can’t impose a patchwork of costly mandates on employers and unions that offer pharmacy benefits.”