News Releases - 2017

NCPA Reacts to Court of Appeals Ruling on Iowa PBM Reform Law

by NCPA | Jan 11, 2017

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Jan. 11, 2017) Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit issued a ruling in Pharmaceutical Care Management Association v. Gerhart case. In response National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, issued the following statement:

"Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a decision holding that ERISA preempts an Iowa statute that sought to impose common-sense regulations upon Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). See Pharm. Care Mgmt. Ass'n v. Gerhart, No. 15-3292 (8th Cir.). Although NCPA continues to study the decision, it is deeply disappointed with the outcome. The Iowa law was meant to ensure that Iowans continue to have fair access to their prescription drug benefits and bring transparency to a PBM industry that has exploited secrecy to reap record profits at the expense of hardworking Americans.

"The lawsuit itself involved a dispute between PCMA, the PBMs' trade association, and the State of Iowa, but NCPA worked to protect NCPA members' interests by filing a friend-of-the-court brief with the Eighth Circuit explaining the virtues of the Iowa statute—a point that the court did not dispute—and why it was not preempted by ERISA. NCPA will continue to study the decision and determine how best to respond on behalf of its members.

"We continue to support policies such as the Iowa law to provide important protections for patients and the pharmacies that serve them. Moreover, related efforts to bring more transparency to prescription drug pricing by PBMs is critical to the ongoing national discussion about drug costs and community pharmacists are prepared to work with government policymakers and industry stakeholders to that end."

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The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $81.5 billion health care marketplace and employ more than 250,000 individuals on a full or part-time basis. To learn more, go to www.ncpanet.org, visit facebook.com/commpharmacy, or follow NCPA on Twitter @Commpharmacy.