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AG Derek Schmidt asks U.S. Supreme Court to preserve state authority to regulate pharmacy benefit managers

Release Date: Nov 29, 2018

TOPEKA – (November 29, 2018) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s ruling that state laws regulating pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) had been preempted by the federal government.

In a brief filed last week in support of an Arkansas case, Schmidt, as part of a bipartisan group of attorneys general of 32 states and the District of Columbia, argued that a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit applied an overly broad interpretation of federal law to reach the conclusion that state-level regulations are preempted. The attorneys general asked the Supreme Court to take up the case and reverse the lower court’s decision.

“States have sought to employ their traditional police and regulatory powers to improve the transparency and operation of prescription drug markets,” the attorneys general wrote. “At least 38 States have enacted laws regulating the conduct of PBMs in a variety of ways. The court of appeals’ decision invalidating Arkansas’s PBM statute has created confusion and uncertainty regarding States’ power to regulate these significant market participants.”

Kansas is among the 38 states that have enacted laws related to PBMs. Those laws may be affected by the outcome of this case.

A copy of the states’ brief is available at http://bit.ly/2PYM4ZX.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.