Today’s passage of Senate Bill 117 in the Senate Health & Welfare Committee was an important first step forward for Kentucky’s independent pharmacists in passing legislation that will help us continue to serve thousands of Kentuckians across the Commonwealth.
For too long, pharmacy benefit managers (PMBs) have been allowed to operate completely unregulated by the state, often leading them to take advantage of loopholes in Kentucky law that hurt independent pharmacies. Today’s committee vote signals to PBMs that they must be held accountable for their actions.
SB 117 will give the Department of Insurance (DOI) jurisdiction over PBMs, regulating them like insurance companies. The legislation will also require PBMs to establish an appeal process for pharmacies to resolve disputes with PBMs and create much-needed transparency by mandating that PBMs identify the sources used to calculate drug product reimbursements.
“The passage of SB 117 in committee will allow Kentucky’s independent pharmacists to better serve our patients by regulating the practices of PBMs,” stated Kentucky Independent Pharmacist Alliance (KIPA) Director, Rosemary Smith. “Kentucky pharmacists care greatly about those we serve. We were at the forefront of Maximum Allowable Cost legislation in 2013 to fight for transparency in reimbursement practices, and, now, we are continuing to look out for our patients by advocating for PBM regulation. We urge the Senate to pass this important legislation.”
If successful, SB 117 will make Kentucky one of only a handful of states to regulate the actions of PBMs who play a major role in determining what Kentuckians pay for their medications.