FMI-The Food Industry Association and the National Grocers Association (NGA) yesterday celebrated a US Supreme Court decision in the case of Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association that, FMI said, "provides a crucial victory to all pharmacy stakeholders seeking the ability to regulate the practices of drug middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The decision restores Arkansas’ Act 900, a pro-pharmacy, pro-consumer law that, among other things, required PBMs to reimburse pharmacies at or above what the pharmacy paid to acquire certain medications."
FMI president-CEO Leslie Sarasin said:
"FMI is pleased that the Supreme Court voted unanimously to protect public access to health care through local pharmacies by allowing states to regulate PBMs, which have been allowed to operate virtually unchecked for far too long. This decision is a strong vote of confidence by the Supreme Court as FMI works to achieve greater oversight of PBMs. More than ever, Americans need convenient access to supermarket pharmacies and wellness services. Pharmacists are among the country’s most accessible health care providers, with close to 90% of the U.S. population living within five miles of a pharmacy. Our members want to preserve convenient, affordable access to supermarket pharmacies in every community and to prevent 'pharmacy deserts' for customers.”
"Many independent grocery pharmacies have been forced to close their doors over the last few years due to the unfair practices of PBMs. We are glad that the Supreme Court has affirmed the authority of Arkansas and other states to regulate onerous PBM practices," said Greg Ferrara, NGA president-CEO. "NGA continues to work with Congress and federal agencies to advance pharmacy reforms at a national level that protect patient access and allow independent grocery pharmacies to continue to serve their communities."