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NACDS files court brief to protect pharmacy data

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. Wading into a legal turf battle over who owns the right to prescription pricing information, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores today filed a legal brief in a pending class-action lawsuit to protect confidential data of its members.

The original suit was filed by third-party pharmacy benefit payers against First DataBank and McKesson Corp., in a dispute over prescription prices for those payers’ plan members. In the suit, First DataBank and McKesson are accused of publishing inflated average wholesale prices, thereby allegedly raising the payers’ costs.

The plaintiffs are seeking to force RelayHealth, a pharmacy transaction processing company now owned by McKesson, to produce confidential pharmacy pricing and reimbursement data. The move by the payers comes after their direct attempts to acquire that same information from pharmacies were rebuffed.

NACDS is seeking the court’s permission to argue the interest of its members in the dispute over RelayHealth data. In its brief, the organization is asserting that the confidential data sought by the plaintiffs belongs to pharmacies, and not to RelayHealth. NACDS also argues that the pharmacies have already objected to production of the data, and that disclosure of that information could be competitively harmful to members.

NACDS is asking the court to deny the plaintiffs’ motion to compel production of the pricing information, and to allow the association to argue in support of its brief at a hearing scheduled for Friday, June 13.

“NACDS’ legal challenge aims to ensure that confidential pharmacy pricing and reimbursement data is not compromised,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson. “NACDS will continue to push for the fair treatment of pharmacy in all branches of the government.”

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