Published Online: Sunday, January 1, 2006

A federal appeals court in Maine has shot down efforts by the pharmacy benefits management (PBM) industry to overturn legislation in that state requiring PBMs to disclose their business practices. The ruling will help to "pave the way for more states to enact consumer protections against PBM business practices," officials at the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) said.

The Maine statute, one of a growing number of state laws requiring PBMs to disclose payment arrangements that they make with pharmaceutical manufacturers, had been challenged as unconstitutional by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA)—an industry group representing PBMs.

In upholding the Maine law, the federal court scored "an important victory for consumers," by making it clear that "states have the right to monitor and regulate the business practices of these drug middlemen," NCPA Executive Vice President Bruce Roberts said.

"The only people who are benefiting from the PBMs are the people who run the PBMs," said Roberts. "It's little wonder that PCMA and the large PBMs it represents don't want to reveal how they are doing business."

In addition to Maine, PBM reform measures have been enacted in North Dakota, Georgia, Maryland, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia and are being considered in a number of other states.

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