WVPA asks Governor Justice to stay the course with PBM legislation

“The Charleston law firm Spilman Battle has requested Governor Jim Justice not implement legislation that the West Virginia Pharmacists Association successfully had passed during the 2019 Legislature regulating pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs),” reports Richard Stevens, WVPA Executive Director.

“WVPA sent a letter to the West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) after the law passed, requesting the agency implement the new regulation. Representing the PBM industry, the law firm doesn’t want the regulation implemented,” said Stevens.

In a October 16 letter to Victor A. Mullins of the WV Insurance Commission, Stevens wrote. “I request your support and approval of Rule 114 SCR 99 relating to the Pharmacy Auditing Entities and Pharmacy Benefit Managers, legislation passed by the 2019 Legislature and supported by this Association.”

Stevens also wrote, “Your approval and implementation of this rule will improve reporting requirements of PBMs, and prohibit them from providing a network comprised only of mail-order benefits.”

WVPA President Ken Reed asks Governor Justice to not put the interests of out-of-state corporation over West Virginia Pharmacists who provide valuable services to West Virginia residents.

During the 2019 Legislature, state lawmakers unanimously passed legislation (SB 489) providing for the regulation of PBMs — the middlemen of the prescription drug industry.

“In doing so, West Virginia joined a number of states that have sought to crack down on abusive PBM practices which have resulted in PBMs raking in enormous profits at the expense of West Virginia patients and pharmacists alike,” said Reed.

Pharmacists are requested to call Governor Justice’s office (304) 558-2000 and request he “stay the course” and allow implementation of the rule prepared by his Office of Insurance Commission, or send an email to the Governor’s Legislative Director: Bob.G.Ashley@wv.gov