Federal Court Dismisses PBM Lawsuit Against Drug Pricing Transparency Law

National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued a statement regarding a court ruling to dismiss a complaint filed by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), the trade group for pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) corporations, intended to thwart a bipartisan Iowa law.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Sep, 9, 2015) - National Community Pharmacists Association

(NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued the following

regarding a court ruling to dismiss a complaint filed by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), the trade group for pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) corporations, intended to thwart a bipartisan Iowa law:

“Yesterday, a federal district court granted Iowans and the community pharmacists who care for them a significant victory in defense of common sense transparency legislation related to generic drug pricing and reimbursement. In September 2014, PCMA filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of H.F. 2297, a bill passed unanimously by the Iowa state legislature. The law was enacted to address the lack of transparency among PBM corporations. The cost of many generic drugs has skyrocketed by 1,000 percent or more virtually overnight but PBM corporations may wait months before they update reimbursement rates. This situation forces pharmacies to absorb losses of $100 or more per prescription and jeopardizes patients’ access to medication.

“In February 2015, the court rejected many of the claims PCMA had made about ERISA with respect to PBM reform issues. Yesterday, the court dismissed PCMA’s remaining claims in a strongly worded opinion, concluding that the state has a legitimate interest in regulating PBMs in order to preserve the health of its citizens. The court’s dismissal of PCMA’s entire case should serve as an extremely helpful precedent against PCMA’s claims challenging the legality of similar transparency laws throughout the country and in support of states’ ability to regulate PBMs.

“Throughout the district court proceedings, NCPA worked closely with the Iowa Pharmacists Association and the state in its defense of H.F. 2297. This collaboration resulted in a huge victory for the state of Iowa and its pharmacists for whom the district court’s decision removes barriers to implementation and enforcement of the law.”