ARLINGTON, VA – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court released a unanimous decision in the case of Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association that 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.
On behalf of the 12,000 supermarket pharmacies operated by our member companies, FMI – The Food Industry Association, joined by twenty-three other retail trade associations, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Arkansas law.
FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin offered the following comments on the Supreme Court’s decision, saying:
“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.”