High Court Faces Preemption Dilemma In Drug Benefits Case

Law360 (October 16, 2020, 5:47 PM EDT) -- On Oct. 2, the eight current justices of the U.S. Supreme Court held oral argument in a hotly contested lawsuit of significant importance to America's health care stakeholders — and in particular, to pharmacies, pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, and employer-sponsored health plans, or ERISA plans, that pay for their beneficiaries' pharmaceuticals.

The case raises an important question of federal ERISA preemption of state laws — and the Supreme Court's application of ERISA's preemptive powers has been, to be charitable, somewhat hard historically to reconcile.

Of particular interest is how the court will apply preemption in the context of the business...

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