MPA | Pharmacy News

A federal appeals court has largely upheld a North Dakota law imposing various requirements on pharmacy benefit managers, including a ban on holding ownership interests in patient assistance programs or mail-order specialty pharmacies.

A unanimous panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that most of the law did not conflict with the federal law governing employee benefits plans, reversing its own earlier holding. It struck down some parts of the law, limiting fees charged by PBMs to pharmacies, on the grounds that they conflicted with the federal Medicare statute.

Lawyers for North Dakota and the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), the national PBM association that challenged the law, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

PBMs serve as intermediaries that negotiate prescription drug prices between drugmakers, pharmacies and insurers. Many states have sought to regulate them in recent years.

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