Recent SCOTUS Ruling Provides Hope for Change in Reimbursement Policies for Community Pharmacy

Pharmacy Times® interviewed Brian Nightengale, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, on how the recent unanimous SCOTUS ruling on Rutledge v. PCMA will impact independent pharmacies across the country.

Pharmacy Times® interviewed Brian Nightengale, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy, on how the recent unanimous Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruling on Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) will impact independent pharmacies across the country.

Alana Hippensteele: So Brian, this recent SCOTUS ruling will allow states to regulate pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs. Since low reimbursement rates have created challenges for thousands of independent pharmacies, particularly in rural areas, what does this ruling mean for independent pharmacies across the country?

Brian Nightengale: Yeah, Alana, that's a great question. A lot of people are wondering that. But I think for me, the first thing it means is it provides some hope and optimism. Reimbursement has been a challenge for a long, long time for community pharmacy.

This ruling really does provide hope that things will change, and there will finally be some relief to inadequate reimbursements and some of these unfair practices imposed by the PBM. So at least in the state of Arkansas, it should provide real and immediate changes in terms of the below cost reimbursement to many of these pharmacies.

Second, I think the ruling does provide a clear path for other states to follow. I think there's been questions around whether some of these legislative initiatives are worth it because of the constraints that kind of the [Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)] component of this placed on it, but I think now you're going to see a fairly clear path for some of these other activities in other states to follow based on Rutledge.