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PBM’s Continue Fight Against State Regulation

Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are continuing to fight against state regulation. On Tuesday, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) filed a new brief with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in opposition to North Dakota Century Code sections 16.1 and 16.2. In 2017, the North Dakota passed legislation to regulate PBM practices including limiting the …

Board of Pharmacy Investigations: How Your PBM Audit May Put You in Hot Water with The State Boards of Pharmacy

PBM Audits commonly review prescription hard copies, signature/delivery logs, drug invoice purchases, proof of copayment collection, proof of prescriber/patient relationship, patient consent to fill, and non-resident state licensure. PBM Audits are just one of the many hurdles your pharmacy will inevitably face while you strive to serve patients. Poor audit findings lead to extensive financial …

How to Respond to a PBM Audit Notice

Pharmacies are plagued by the burdens of addressing the terms of their pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) agreements, whether those terms are reasonable or not.  Pharmacies are dogged with PBMs wielding their power by initiating a PBM audit – sometimes to root out actual discrepancies, sometimes to injure your business in favor of the PBM’s own affiliated …

Patient Copayments and the Use of Manufacturer Coupons

How Saving a Patient Money can Cost Your Pharmacy the Entire Paid Claim Amount or Worse, Your Pharmacy’s PBM Contract. Most who have worked in a pharmacy for some time can remember the Purple Pill Card, the Nexium Savings Coupon with the catchy name and bright purple colors. Not only did this program have catchy …

Signature Log Audits: Are you Maintaining the Proper Documentation for In-Person and Mail-Delivered Prescriptions?

Many PBMs relaxed the requirements on signature logs for both in person and delivered medications due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Some PBMs even allowed mailed prescriptions when otherwise prohibited. While the ease in restrictions made providing patients with their medications easier, the PBMs retained the right to audit signature logs regardless of the lifted restrictions. …

PBM Aberrant Product Lists: The Aberrant NDC and Percentage Billed Compared to Total Volume is Only Part of the Issue

Billing of Aberrant NDCs Beginning in January of 2020, at least one of the major PBMs began monitoring its network pharmacies for the billing of specific NDC numbers the PBM considered “Aberrant”. The list of NDCs was sent to network pharmacies in November of 2019 and has since been updated in November of 2020. The …

Supreme Court Victory for States and Independent Pharmacies

With the national conversation discussing a Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) that is often highly politicized and characterized as divided, it should be comforting to the independent pharmacy community to know that SCOTUS issued a unanimous, 8-0 (Justice Barrett did not participate in this decision) decision in the case of Rutledge v. PCMA. …

How pharmacy benefit managers squeeze local pharmacists

Opening and operating a pharmacy is difficult enough on its own. In recent years, however, the grip of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) is making life even harder for independent pharmacists. PBMs act as a middleman, managing prescription drug benefit programs. PBMs argue they can lower prescription costs by negotiating discounts with large drug companies. What’s …