Mississippi law subjects PBMs to pharmacy board oversight

May 17, 2011

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has signed into law S.B. 2445, which reauthorizes the state?s Pharmacy Practice Act and requires pharmacy benefit managers to be subject to oversight by the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has signed into law S.B. 2445, which reauthorizes the state’s Pharmacy Practice Act and requires pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to be subject to oversight by the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy.

“This commonsense law received almost unanimous support in the Mississippi House and Senate,” said B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, executive vice president and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). “With Governor Barbour’s signature … he has positioned his state as one of the leaders in providing badly needed oversight of out-of-state PBMs, which often engage in questionable business practices that have occasionally resulted in legal fines.”

Hoey noted that PBMs lobbied furiously against the bill. He added that the interests of patients and small businesses are best served by putting “these giant corporate prescription-drug middlemen” under the control of the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy.

NCPA supported the bill on behalf of 441 independent community pharmacies and the thousands of patients they serve in Mississippi, Hoey said. “Our hope is that other states will follow this approach, because it will ensure that a premium is placed on transparency and fairness and not on the size of PBMs’ profit margins.”