Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined a bipartisan coalition this week that supports states’ rights to regulate prescription drug prices.
Yost, along with 45 other attorneys general, submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court to support Arkansas in its lawsuit Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management. The Supreme Court will rule on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit’s opinion that determined the 2015 Arkansas law regulating pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) was illegal.
PBMs are the people who handle health insurer’s prescription drug benefits. Furthermore, these middle men are seen as “key participants” in getting drug benefits to over 266 million Americans with health insurance, according to HealthAffairs.
The brief focuses on PBMs and their role when it comes to prescription drug prices. These attorneys general believe being able to regulate PBMs will promote “access and affordability for residents.”
In addition, the brief argues prescription drug market regulation is an important tool for states, so they can “protect residents and address the access and affordability of prescription drugs.”
“Every state regulates its insurance markets – no one would say federal law pre-empts that action. How can a key player in these markets get a pass?” Yost said. “Ohio will not give up its duty and right to protect its citizens to some federal bureaucrat in Washington, D.C.”
The Supreme Court opening arguments for Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association starts on April 27.
Earlier this year, Yost outlined a four-point plan based on “market principles” that tries to limit the amount Ohio taxpayers pay for prescription drugs bought by state employees.
- State drug purchases should go through a master PBM contract that is administered through a single point of contact.
- The Ohio Auditor of State should have unrestricted authority to review all PBM drug contracts, purchases and payments.
- PBMs must be fiduciaries.
- Nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) on drug pricing with the state must be prohibited.
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected]