Pharmaceutical Care Management Ass'n v. Wehbi, No. 18-2926 (8th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
PCMA filed suit to enjoin the enforcement of several North Dakota statutory provisions, claiming that they were preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (Medicare Part D). The district court concluded that ERISA preempted none of the challenged provisions and that Medicare Part D preempted only one; the Eighth Circuit reversed on the issue of ERISA preemption; and the Supreme Court vacated the judgment and remanded in light of Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, 592 U.S. ---, 141 S. Ct. 474 (2020).
On remand from the Supreme Court, the Eighth Circuit concluded that Sections 16.1(11) and 16.2(4), as well as Sections 16.1(10) and 16.2(2), do not meet the connection-with standard. The court explained that none of the challenged provisions has an impermissible connection with ERISA plans and are therefore not preempted. The court also concluded that state laws are preempted as applied to Medicare Part D plans if and only if they either (1) regulate the same subject matter as a federal Medicare Part D standard (in which case they are expressly preempted), or (2) otherwise frustrate the purpose of a federal Medicare Part D standard (in which case they are impliedly preempted). In this case, a provision requiring plans to disclose certain information to patients or prohibiting plans from prohibiting pharmacies from disclosing certain information are preempted, as well as provisions regarding collection of retroactive fees from pharmacies. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part and reversed in part.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on August 7, 2020.