Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Pharmacists, Patients

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Pharmacists, Patients

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Pharmacists, Patients

Decision in Rutledge v. PCMA Validates State Efforts to Rein in PBMs

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–This week, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its landmark decision in Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), unanimously ruling in favor of an Arkansas law to prevent abusive PBM payment practices.

The decision empowers states to take action to hold pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) accountable for their role in managing drug benefits that profit at the expense of pharmacists, pharmacies and the patients who depend on them.

The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) joined the Arkansas Pharmacists Association, the National Community Pharmacists, the American Pharmacists Association, the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, and 50 other state-level pharmacy associations in signing an amicus curiae brief in support of Arkansas.

In addition, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with other leaders from the California Department of Justice, signed an amicus curiae brief including signatures from leaders from 44 other states and the District of Columbia in support of the state of Arkansas.

“We are proud of the role that California played in allowing states to rein in PBMs to the benefit of pharmacies, pharmacy professionals, and patients across the country,” said Susan Bonilla, Chief Executive Officer, CPhA.

The Arkansas law upheld by the Supreme Court will prohibit PBMs from reimbursing pharmacies at a lower rate than what the pharmacies pay to fill prescriptions. PBMs often profit by reimbursing pharmacies at less than a pharmacy’s cost to acquire a drug. This is just one of the many ways the PBM system puts pharmacies and patients at a disadvantage.

“This is a historic decision that will shift the balance of power away from PBMs and allow pharmacists to do what they do best: serve their patients. For too long, PBMs have been allowed to reimburse pharmacies at rates that drove them to close their doors. CPhA is thrilled that states will be able to protect patients and pharmacies from these practices,” said Clifford Young, CPhA President.

To learn more about CPhA’s efforts to protect pharmacy professionals and patients, visit

About CPhA

The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the largest statewide professional association for pharmacists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the country. CPhA represents the pharmacy profession all practice settings and promotes the health of the public through the practice of pharmacy.


Sheila Johnston

Senior Vice President, Business Operations