In November of 2021, Lackie Drug of Lonoke filed a lawsuit against 17 PBMs and their affiliates alleging violations of Act 900 passed by the Arkansas General Assembly in 2015.
Act 900 was designed to protect Arkansas independent pharmacies in several ways. Principally, the statute required PBMs to routinely and frequently update and provide their MAC lists so that pharmacist would know their actual reimbursement rates of the prescription drugs they were filling, and the Act was also passed to stop PBMs from forcing pharmacies to fill prescriptions for insurance reimbursement rates below their actual costs.
In response to Act 900's passage, the PBMs immediately banned together through their PBM Association to sue the State of Arkansas and to have the new law declared void as against federal ERISA laws. In December of 2020, SCOTUS upheld Act 900 in all respects; a complete victory for Arkansas's independent pharmacies.
Lackie Drug filed its case in Lonoke County Circuit Court to secure the protections of Act 900. Its complaint also sought five years of damages for the PBMs' violations of Arkansas law, which SCOTUS has ruled was good law at its start.
In December of 2020, the defendants removed Lackie Drug's case from Lonoke County Circuit Court to federal court in Little Rock. The case is presently before Judge Jay Moody.
After the removal to federal court, Lackie Drug amended its complaint to prosecute the case as a Class Action and for the benefit of all independent pharmacies in the State of Arkansas.
The defendants have filed motions to dismiss the case, and the attorneys for Lackie Drug and the proposed Class of Arkansas independent pharmacies have filed briefs in opposition of those motions. We hope a decision on these motions will be made during the summer months of 2021.
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