First pharmacy benefits manager licenses issued

First pharmacy benefits manager licenses issued

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) -According to an article in Talk Business and Politics, two licenses for pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, have been granted.

Arkansas Insurance Department Commissioner Allen Kerr approved a PBM license for Aetna Health Management, LLC based in Hartford, Connecticut. The other license was granted to CaremarkPCS Health, LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Aetna Health Management and Caremark both do business in Arkansas and are registered as a Foreign Limited Liability Company.

A 60-day license was granted to OptumRX, pending their completion of the company’s license application.

Kerr said the hard work from AID staff made the licenses issued possible.

“Thanks to the hard work of Arkansas Insurance Department staff,” Kerr said. “We are able to issue these first licenses for pharmacy benefit managers following the passage of the new law in March. This law protects Arkansas consumers and has sparked a nationwide conversation on how other states can help their citizens have continued access to needed prescriptions and information on cheaper pharmaceuticals.”

A new review and licensure process was put into effect last year after Arkansas pharmacies reported significantly higher drug prices were putting them out of business.

This new law allowed AID to license and regulate PBMs, which negotiates rates, make payments and acts as a middleman between the insurance companies and the pharmacies. It also permits the insurance commissioner to look over and approve PBM compensation to pharmacies.

PBMs must have an adequate and accessible network that does not include mail-order pharmacies. They also can’t reimburse other pharmacists less than they reimburse their own affiliates.

To view article on 2018 PBM legistlation bill, click here.

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