PCMA files Supreme Court response

NCPA March 25, 2020

PCMA has filed its brief as respondent in the Rutledge v. PCMA case that is headed to the Supreme Court. Arguments in the case are set for April 27, but that is subject to change with the current health crisis.

Rutledge v. PCMA originates from Arkansas, which passed a law in 2015 barring PBMs from reimbursing local pharmacies at a lower rate than what the pharmacies pay to fill the prescriptions. PCMA, which lobbies for PBMs, challenged the law in court, which is when the APA and NCPA joined the effort to ensure the 2015 precedent stands. At issue is whether states like Arkansas can enact regulations that affect the PBMs, who argue that they are exempt by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

"The PBMs have been hiding behind the false argument that ERISA preempts the states from adopting reasonable regulations," said NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey. "ERISA was never intended to be a force field around corporate middlemen hired by the plans. We are confident that the Supreme Court will agree."

NCPA will provide an analysis of the brief soon. For information and updates on the case, visit NCPA's Battleground: SCOTUS page.