States have authority to regulate and address the rising cost of prescription drugs, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has told the U.S. Supreme Court.
Schmidt, along with a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from 44 other states and the District of Columbia, today filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that to protect the well-being of consumers, states must be allowed to regulate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). PBMs act as middlemen between pharmacies, drug manufacturers, health insurance plans, and consumers. Their position in the marketplace gives them power to manipulate the market as they develop and maintain prescription drug formularies, contract with pharmacies, negotiate discounts with drug manufacturers, and process and pay prescription drug claims.
“The rising cost of prescription drugs is an issue at the top of mind for many Kansans,” Schmidt said. “As we continue to face uncertainty from a gridlocked Congress in Washington, it is vitally important that states are not prevented from improving access to affordable prescription drugs – particularly in rural communities in states like ours.”