The American Society for Pharmacy Law (ASPL) is an organization of attorneys, pharmacists, pharmacist-attorneys and students of pharmacy or law who are interested in the law as it applies to pharmacy, pharmacists, wholesalers, manufacturers, state and federal government and other interested parties.

ASPL is a nonprofit organization with the purposes of

  • Furthering knowledge in the law related to pharmacists, pharmacies, the provision of pharmaceutical care, the manufacturing and distribution of drugs, and other food, drug, and medical device policy issues;
  • Communicating accurate legal educational information; and
  • Providing educational opportunities for pharmacists, attorneys, and others who are interested in pharmacy law

ASPL has become the premier source to engage with the entire spectrum of professionals at the intersection of pharmacy and legal matters. With my formal training, I approach our meetings with the assumption that I have grasped all of the components that contribute to the pharmacy profession. However, engaging with ASPL has placed context around the various, often overlooked, downstream and upstream factors that impact the law as it applies to pharmacy.
Monet Stanford, PharmD

Latest News

January 21,  2020

SCOTUS grants certiorari in Rutledge v. the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association

On January 10, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the case of Rutledge v. the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA). PCMA is the trade association for pharmaceutical benefits managers, and the suit was filed by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. In the case below, PCMA sued to invalidate Arkansas’ PBM regulation and transparency law (Ark. Code Ann. §17-92-507), alleging that its implementation would violate provisions of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and as such is preempted by federal law because it “relates to ERISA plans.”

The district court agreed, citing Pharmaceutical Care Management Association v. Gerhart, 852 F.3d 722 (2017), which invalidated a similar Iowa statute. On appeal, the 8th Circuit held that “ERISA preempts Arkansas’s regulation of the rates at which PBMs reimburse pharmacies.” On appeal to the Supreme Court, Arkansas argues that the Court of Appeals was incorrect, and an amicus brief filed by the Solicitor General responded to the question, “Whether the Employment Retirement Security Act of 1974 ... preempts a State’s regulation of the rates at which pharmacy benefit managers reimburse pharmacies.” The Solicitor General advised that the Court of Appeals’ “decision is incorrect. It is contrary to this Court’s precedent and the other courts of appeals on an important question of federal law. And this case is a suitable vehicle for this Court’s review. The petition for a writ of certiorari should be granted.” (Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, Brief for the Unites States as Amicus Curiae, No. 18-540, S.Ct., December 2019, at 7)

The Court’s docket report of Questions Presented in the case reads as follows: “Thirty-six States have enacted legislation to curb abusive prescription drug reimbursement practices by claims-processing middlemen – known as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) – who make money on the spread between the rates at which they reimburse pharmacies and the drug prices they charge health plans. In response, Respondent Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a PBM trade association, has launched a barrage of litigation across the country arguing that state regulations of PBMs generally, and state drug-reimbursement regulations specifically, are categorically preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Disregarding this Court’s ERISA precedent (and contrary to the First Circuit’s conclusion that PBM regulations are categorically not preempted by ERISA), the Eighth Circuit embraced that argument.

“The question presented here is: Whether the Eight Circuit erred in holding that Arkansas’s statute regulating PBMs’ drug-reimbursement rates, which is similar to laws enacted by a substantial majority of States, is preempted by ERISA, in contravention of this Court’s precedent that ERISA does not preempt rate regulation.” [Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, No. 18-540, S.Ct., cert. granted, January 10, 2020;]