Maryland joins multiple other states in raising accountability standards on pharmacy benefit managers

This law continues Maryland’s leadership status in the healthcare reform fight”

— Deepak Kini

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES, June 1, 2021 / — Independent Pharmacies of Maryland (IPMD), a local pharmacy advocacy group, stepped forward today to thank the vision and efforts of Delegate Kipke and the Maryland state legislature, and to applaud Governor Larry Hogan for signing PBM reform bill HB 601, into law.

“It’s a real win for pharmacies and their patients across the state,” said Maryland pharmacy owner and IPMD board member Deepak Kini. “Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have taken advantage of loopholes in state law language for far too long — to the detriment of Maryland pharmacies and patients. HB 601 closes many of those loopholes by tightening up definitions surrounding PBM business practices.”

HB 601, a pharmacy benefit manager revisions bill, streamlines the definition of “pharmacy benefit manager” in relation to their purpose within the healthcare spectrum. It also implements elements of the Rutledge v PCMA Supreme Court decision by allowing the state, for the first time, to regulate ERISA plan PBMs, prohibit many fees associated with those plans, and lays the groundwork for further regulation of PBM practices within ERISA.

“This law continues Maryland’s leadership status in the healthcare reform fight,” says Kini. “The unanimous decision by the Supreme Court was a ruling in favor of state’s rights to regulate healthcare within their boundaries. This bill gives Maryland patients and pharmacies protections against out-of-state corporations attempting to circumvent state law for their own gains. By signing HB 601, Governor Hogan is showing that the state of Maryland puts Maryland’s patients and local businesses first.”

Independent Pharmacies of Maryland (IPMD) advocates on behalf of Maryland’s small business community pharmacies and their patients against PBM unethical business practices in the interest of improving the quality, safety, and cost of patient care. To learn more, visit our website at


Sherine Joseph, PharmD
Independent Pharmacies of Maryland

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