U.S. Supreme Court Declines Review of PBM Case
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a lower court ruling that upholds a Maine law requiring pharmacy benefit managers to disclose the discounts they negotiate with drugmakers, CQ HealthBeat reports (CQ HealthBeat, 6/7).
In November 2005, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston ruled that the 2003 Maine law is constitutional. Under the law, PBMs do have to make the information on payments public, but they must disclose the information to their clients.
The law also requires PBMs to pass discounts that they receive from pharmaceutical companies to clients. In a lawsuit filed in September 2003, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association -- whose members include Medco Health Solutions, Express Scripts and Caremark Rx -- had argued that the law violated trade secret protections and was unconstitutional (American Health Line, 11/9/05).
PCMA called the Supreme Court decision "an expected procedural move" but said the court could revisit the ruling due to a potential conflict that might arise within the next year from other litigation now before the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., according to CQ HealthBeat.
The National Community Pharmacists Association said the decision to not review the case "is a major victory for consumers in Maine and many other states that have been watching the outcome, so they can proceed with their efforts to regulate PBMs" (CQ HealthBeat, 6/7).