April 16, 2021
APRx Advocacy Engagement
Drives Bills in Several States
American Pharmacies (APRx) is known for its fierce commitment to legislative advocacy and the ongoing successes those efforts have driven in Texas. As our size and reach have grown, our focus has expanded to multiple states, four of them in which we have legislation that is in progress or has passed and signed into law. Recently, APRX- supported legislation was signed into law in Arizona and New Mexico, building on an unequalled record of success that started in Texas.

"Advocacy is in our blood," APRx President Laird Leavoy said. "It has been every bit as important as purchasing economics in our value proposition since day one. To be totally committed to the economic welfare of our members, we have to put forth maximum effort in the legislative arena."

Michael Wright, VP of government affairs for American Pharmacies, has spearheaded our expansion into multiple states with our trademark blend of hard work, decisive action, realistic incremental goals, and key strategic partnerships. Our efforts are paying off in legislative successes, increased grassroots engagement by pharmacists and new legislative allies across the nation.

"We take a calculated, strategic approach to every state where we engage," Wright said. "We build sustainable efforts with strong partners. That approach has enabled us to pass 9 of 11 bills filed in Texas and now six bills in three other states."

Read on to learn more about our ongoing efforts and success in several states.
Transaction Fee Ban
Enacted in Arizona

On April 9, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law SB 1356, a comprehensive ban on PBM transaction fees that is modeled after successful APRx legislation in Texas and New Mexico. The bill is the first PBM reform legislation in Arizona history.

Filed by State Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix (above left), the bill was the effort of the newly formed Arizona Independent Pharmacy Coalition (AIPC), of which American Pharmacies is a founding member along with Arizona-based Pharmacies United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT).

APRx helped fund a contract lobbyist position for AIPC and helped provide guidance on bill language and lobbying strategy. APRx General Counsel Miguel Rodriguez testified twice in support of the legislation, which cruised through both the Senate and House. SB 1356 passed the Senate on a 28-1 vote on Feb. 11 and passed the House on April 1 by 1 60-0 vote.

Like APRx bills enacted in Texas and New Mexico, SB 1356 prohibits PBMs from assessing fees for the adjudication or transmission of a pharmacy claim. It also bans fees based on the development or management of a claims adjudication or processing system or participation in such a system.


American Pharmacies is a proud member of PUTT and an active partner with PUTT In driving advocacy efforts in multiple states.

The PUTT-APRx partnership was instrumental in the passage of SB 1356 in Arizona and PUTT is actively engaged in support of APRx's efforts to pass major PBM reforms in Michigan. PUTT also is funding and supporting advocacy efforts in Florida and other states.

By shining a bright light on PBM abuses that threaten patients and independent pharmacy, PUTT has helped advance advocacy efforts in state capitols across the country -- the real battlegrounds in the fight against PBM domination.
14-Day Prompt Pay Signed in New Mexico

New Mexico pharmacies scored a big win on April 6, when legislation was signed into law requiring that clean commercial claims be paid in 14 days or less when they are filed electronically. The current standard is 30 days. The new standard of 14 days for clean electronic claims in commercial plans now equals the requirement in New Mexico Medicaid.

SB 124, filed by New Mexico Republicans Bill Tallman and Steve Neville, takes effect July 1. The bill passed the New Mexico Senate on a 42-0 vote and the House on a 65-5 vote.

The bill was spearheaded by APRx's New Mexico Pharmacy Business Council, and NMPBC Board Chair Ashley Seyfarth of Bloomfield, N.M., testified in support of the bill along with Miguel Rodriguez.

The passage of SB 124 builds on a solid record of success for NMPBC. In a little more than five years of existence, NMPBC also has passed bills strengthening MAC standards and banning PBM clawbacks and transaction fees.
Building Senate Support for Major PBM Reform in Michigan
One of the most far-reaching PBM reform bills ever filed in the nation -- one that would substantially curb myriad PBM abuses in Michigan -- passed the Michigan House on March 24 on a 97-10 vote.

HB 4348 by Rep. Julie Calley, R-Portland, is part of a sweeping bipartisan bill package launched by House leaders. The House Bipartisan Health Care Plan is the signature program of Speaker Jason Wentworth and encompasses multiple bills aiming to improve the quality, affordability and accessibility of Michigan health care. Wentworth, shown at right with Michael Wright (L) and Miguel Rodriguez (R) in Lansing, is a strong supporter of PBM reform. American Pharmacies has worked closely with both Wentforth and Rep. Calley on HB 4348.

Though the pace of deliberation is slower on the Senate side, APRx is working hard with its Michigan lobby team and key Michigan members to build Senate support for HB 4348.
About American Pharmacies' Advocacy Commitment
The resounding success of our advocacy efforts originated in the founding of the Texas Pharmacy Business Council in 2008 -- the nation's first dedicated advocacy organization created by an independent buying group.

TPBC is the only Texas pharmacy organization to pass meaningful legislation over the past six sessions. During that span, we have passed 10 bills that directly benefit independent pharmacy, including the nation’s first ban on transaction fees, a ban on clawbacks, MAC reforms and significant audit and prompt-pay standards. That record is not only the best in Texas, but also the best of any state in the nation. Click Here to See. TPBC's successful MAC, audit and transaction fee bills have been used as models in several states, and we have assisted pharmacists in several states with the drafting of those bills.

This session, TPBC is shepherding three important bills: a far-reaching PBM bill to end self-dealing, excessive credentialing and retroactive reductions in payments; an anti-steering bill; and legislation to end an ERISA exemption of self-funded commercial health plans (and their PBMs) from fair pharmacy audit standards. All three bills have strong sponsors in both the House and Senate, have cleared their House committees and are awaiting a House floor vote.

As our efforts in all four states show, our fierce commitment to legislative advocacy on your behalf continues to deliver results. And with the partnership of AmerisourceBergen and PUTT, and the support and engagement of dedicated pharmacy owners across the country, APRx will continue to expand its role as the clear advocacy leader among independent purchasing groups.