Legislative lobbying reports for last session rank pharmacy-benefit managers fifth, hospitals sixth, Altria 11th, Anthem 17th, docs 18th

The law, sponsored by Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, also prohibits a PBM from reimbursing a pharmacy that it owns at a higher rate than a community pharmacy, or from keeping a community pharmacy from filling a 90-day prescription for a maintenance drug. And PBM will not be able to penalize a community pharmacy from sharing information with a patient on the cheapest option to pay for their medications.

Several other major lobbying interests dealt with health-care issues. The biggest spender was the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, at $151,010, followed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, at $139,599. Among many other things, the ACLU wants the legislature to enact exceptions to the state’s near-total abortion ban.

Ranking sixth, just behind the PBM lobby, was the Kentucky Hospital Association, at $85,835. In 11th place was Altria Client Services, a cigarette company, at $73,309; it supported the successful bill to limit legal sales of vaping products to those approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Ranking 17th was Elevance Health and Affiliates doing business as Anthem Inc., at $59,946. The health-insurance firm was followed by the Kentucky Medical Association, the main lobby for physicians, at $54,051, and the Kentucky Primary Care Association, a trade group for health clinics, at $49,416.

Overall, spending on legislative lobbying for the first three months of 2024 was a record of $9.719 million, the Ethics Commission reported Tuesday: “The previous record for the same period was $9.343 million, set last year; 933 businesses and organizations registered to lobby in Kentucky, spending $9.427 million; 727 lobbyists were paid $8.289 million in compensation, and also reported $291,942 in expenses.”

Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

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