ERISA Partially Preempted District of Columbia Prescription Drug Statute - DC Circuit
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ERISA Partially Preempted District of Columbia Prescription Drug Statute

Pharmaceutical Care Mgmt. Corp. v. Dist. of Colum., No. 09-7042, involved an action seeking a declaration that Title II of the District of Columbia's Access Rx Act of 2004 was preempted by ERISA and various constitutional provisions.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for plaintiffs in part, holding that sections 48-832.01(a), (b)(1), and (d) of Title II were pre-empted by ERISA insofar as they applied to a pharmaceutical benefits manager (PBM) under contract with an employee benefit plan (EBP) because they "related to" an EBP.  However, the court reversed in part on the ground that sections 48-832.01(b)(2) and (c) were not preempted by ERISA, however, because each may be waived by an EBP in its contract with a PBM.

As the court wrote:  "The District of Columbia appeals the judgment of the district court holding Title II of the Access Rx Act of 2004, D.C. Code § 48-832.01 et seq., is pre-empted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq. (ERISA). Pharm. Care Mgmt. Ass'n v. District of Columbia, 605 F. Supp. 2d 77, 84-88 (2009). We agree with the district court that §§ 48-832.01(a), (b)(1), and (d) of Title II are pre-empted by ERISA insofar as they apply to a pharmaceutical benefits manager (PBM) under contract with an employee benefit plan (EBP) because they relate to an EBP. Sections 48-832.01(b)(2) and (c) are not pre-empted by ERISA, however, because each may be waived by an EBP in its contract with a PBM. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the district court, and remand this matter for the district court to consider the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association's (PCMA) constitutional challenges to the provisions not pre empted by ERISA."

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