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Pharmacy manager bill passes state House, Senate

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 14, 2018 at 11:50 a.m.

1:55 p.m. UPDATE:

The Arkansas House and Senate have each approved bills that would regulate pharmacy benefit managers, prompted by complaints from pharmacists about a cut in reimbursements they saw earlier this year.

The House on Wednesday approved by a 92-2 vote the proposal that requires pharmacy benefit managers to be licensed by the state. Later, the Senate voted 30-2 for an identical proposal.

PBMs run prescription drug plans for employers, government agencies and insurers, among other clients. They use their large purchasing power to negotiate prices.

The proposal also bans PBM "gag clauses" that prevent pharmacists from discussing the total price of a drug or cheaper alternatives.

The House measure now heads to the Senate, and the Senate version will be sent to the House.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

EARLIER:

The Arkansas House has approved a proposal to regulate pharmacy benefit managers, prompted by complaints from pharmacists about a cut in reimbursements they saw earlier this year.

The House on Wednesday approved by a 92-2 vote the proposal that requires pharmacy benefit managers to be licensed by the state.

PBMs run prescription drug plans for employers, government agencies and insurers, among other clients. They use their large purchasing power to negotiate prices.

The proposal also bans PBM "gag clauses" that prevent pharmacists from discussing the total price of a drug or cheaper alternatives.

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The measure now heads to the Senate, which is considering an identical measure.

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