15 Sep 2020
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Independent Pharmacies—Let Your Voice Be Heard! Sept. 29th 8-9 PM

Rutledge v. PCMA, Taking the Side of Independent Pharmacies

With the Rutledge v. PCMA hearing just around the corner, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) is hosting a webinar to preview the oral arguments being held before the U.S. Supreme Court. Datarithm® has partnered with the NCPA as an official sponsor of the night’s event, held on September 29th from 8-9 PM, EDT. Be sure to register beforehand to attend the virtual event.

The case, filed by Arkansas Attorney General (AG) Leslie Rutledge, will significantly impact health care as it relates to pharmacies, wholesalers, and, most importantly, patients. “This case is one of the most impactful health care cases at the Supreme Court in a Decade…[the case] will give clarity that would allow states to implement their PBM regulations or put some in place. This is to protect the American consumer—to protect patients—and make sure they have access to quality health care and that they are able to continue to use their own pharmacist of choice,” AG Rutledge told Pharmacy Today in April.

As the American health care system’s climate heats up, this case comes at an opportune time to help independent pharmacies stay afloat. Depending on how the ruling goes, it could save thousands of independent pharmacies around the nation from going out of business. For some, local pharmacies are a patient’s first and only point of care. For others, their local pharmacy is one they prefer and trust in their time of need. Independent pharmacies are a staple of their community in which they serve. PBMs threaten the very existence of those pharmacies.

PBMs have, in essence, brought forth an imbalance to the market power by implementing “take-it-or-leave-it” terms on small and even larger retail chains. They have done this in three different ways:

    1. By granting themselves autonomous control on how much they reimburse pharmacies for generic prescription drugs they dispense

    2. By taking away the pharmacist’s ability to disclose information that could save the patient money

    3. And by preventing pharmacists from dispensing certain prescription drugs which have directed patients to mail-order pharmacies owned by PBMs at a lower price

In an attempt to help independent pharmacies, many states have enacted laws to regulate PBMs by implementing transparency and rate reimbursement regulations and PBM licensing and audit requirements. Regulations that are familiar to many other industries, but which have been lacking within PBMs.

Brian Nightengale, president of Good Neighbor Pharmacy and senior vice president of Community and Specialty Pharmacy at AmerisourceBergen, states, “Independent pharmacies provide a higher touch, higher level of service, more point-of-care testing, more immunizations, more adherence support, and more clinical services.” Datarithm® understands the importance of independent pharmacies and is aligned with supporting the efforts of the NCPA, not only on a monetary level but also in their mission to help the health care and pharmacy industry adopt more meaningful regulations in support of independent pharmacies.

Join us on September 29th from 8-9 PM, EDT in previewing Rutledge v. PCMA to show your support of independent pharmacies. Register today.