Arkansas asks U.S. Supreme Court to uphold state law regulating pharmacy reimbursements

By Marian Johns | Nov 2, 2018

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a state law that allows pharmacies to be reimbursed by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) for prescriptions they dispense to insured individuals at wholesale inventory costs.

Rutledge announced the filing of a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to uphold the state's Act 900, which regulates reimbursement rates paid by PBMs. According to Rutledge's office, prior to the 2015 enactment of Act 900, PBMs gave below-cost or negative reimbursements for a majority of prescriptions. 

“Many Arkansans rely on pharmacies as their frontline healthcare provider,” Rutledge said in a statement. “These same pharmacies are experiencing financial losses at the hands of middlemen PBMs that set pharmacy reimbursements so low that local pharmacies operate at a loss or are forced out of business.

"I will always protect Arkansans and small businesses from unfair business practices and ensure there is prescription drug pricing transparency in Arkansas."  

The writ of certiorari filed by Rutledge follows a decision by three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals' saying Act 900 was partially preempted by Medicaid Part D and the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, according to the Attorney General's Office. 


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