Supreme Court hears drug benefits case with wide-ranging impact

Arkansas attorney Nicholas Bronni sought to distinguish PBMs from their insurance clients by arguing that the law only regulates PBM mechanics. The law doesn’t directly impact most patients because it only targets the rates that PBMs pay to pharmacies, not necessarily the profits that PBMs garner from health plans. Patients are protected by the law because it helps preserve access to local pharmacies, he said.

“There’s no requirement the PBM pass on any cost increases that might come along with that to the plan,” Bronni argued. “That’s entirely up to the PBM’s business decision.”

But PCMA attorney Seth Waxman argued that there is no legal distinction between a health plan and its contractor in this context, meaning the law attempts to regulate core aspects of a plan’s decisions. The patchwork requirements across states, coupled with the fact that the Arkansas law allows pharmacies to refuse prescriptions, have a significant impact

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Health experts have insufficient information to establish where people get Covid-19, committee hears

Health experts have insufficient information to establish where people are getting infected with Covid-19, an Oireachtas committee heard on Wednesday.

Prof Kirsten Schaffer, president of the Irish Society of Clinical Microbiology, said she rang public health officials to be told that they only asked what close contacts people had in the last 48 hours.

They do not ask people where they have been or where they might have acquired the infection so it was not clear if somebody acquired it at a house party or at a restaurant or any other social setting.

“I don’t have that information. The data is not there at the moment,” she said, adding this gap was impeding the development of more refined or localised interventions.

Other countries like Germany did ask those questions and had that information, the Oireachtas Committee on Covid-19 Response heard.

Professor Kirsten Schaffer UCD School of Medicine and President of the Irish Society of Clinical Microbiologists addresses the Oireachtas Covid-19 Committee. Photograph: Oireachtas TV
Professor Kirsten Schaffer UCD School of Medicine and President of
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