Lupin 2023

NCPA, Oklahoma pharmacists cheer new development in PBM case

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

ALEXANDRIA, Va.  — The National Community Pharmacists Association welcomed a development in a federal court case in which the powerful pharmacy benefit manager lobby is challenging an Oklahoma law that would regulate PBMs, protect patient access, and ensure fairer business practices.

“This is a very positive development in a very important case,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey. “We strongly support Oklahoma’s right and authority under federal law to protect its residents and family-owned pharmacies from unfair business practices by the PBMs.”

Debra Billingsley, who heads the Oklahoma Pharmacists Association, which helped push the bill through the state legislature and get it signed into law, said it’s time for Oklahomans to decide whether and how to protect patients and local businesses.

“The out of state PBMs have pushed to prevent enforcement of a law that should have gone into effect on Nov. 1, 2019,” said Billingsley. “It is time to allow Oklahoma patients the right to choose their own pharmacy without interference from the PBM middlemen who want to force mail order prescriptions. Our legislators wanted Oklahomans to have a choice and we are pleased that this law can now be enforced.”

The Oklahoma law ensures network adequacy and establishes “any willing pharmacy” requirements. It minimizes PBM conflicts of interest by prohibiting higher reimbursement rates for pharmacies owned by PBMs. It also limits PBM abuses by barring retroactive prescription claim adjustments and denials. PCMA, the powerful PBM lobbying group, challenged Oklahoma’s authority under federal law to regulate PBMs. The case, PCMA v. Mulready, went up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit because PCMA wanted to block the implementation of the law. They withdrew that motion on Aug. 31.

“The case is by no means over, but we are pleased that PCMA surrendered its bullying attempts to prevent Oklahoma from enforcing the law while the case is pending,” said Hoey.

PCMA v. Mulready is one of several important PBM cases on which NCPA is active, including Rutledge v. PCMA, a case originating from Arkansas that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in October.


Comments are closed.