PHARMACY

Appeals court overturns Visa/Mastercard swipe fee settlement, earning industry praise

BY David Salazar
Retail and pharmacy organizations are welcoming a ruling made recently striking down the 2012 settlement of a class action lawsuit over Visa and MasterCard’s credit card swipe fees.
 
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York on Thursday overturned a December 2013 approval of the settlement by U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson. The settlement came in a 2005 lawsuit brought by 19 retailers and trade associations but 10 of the plaintiffs, including all of the associations, rejected the settlement when it was unveiled in 2012. Among the organizations that were plaintiffs is the National Community Pharmacists Association, which praised the ruling. 
 
“NCPA joined this lawsuit to achieve meaningful, long-term reforms to the current swipe fee system. This proposed settlement came woefully short and NCPA commends the court’s decision to nullify it,” NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey said. “The proposed settlement did not impose necessary fundamental changes to the structure of the industry and the rules affecting merchants, particularly small business community pharmacies.”
 
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)  opeted out and objected to the settlement in 2014 and welcomed it being overturned. 
 
"RILA enthusiastically welcomes the circuit court's decision to throw out this harmful settlement," EVP and general counsel Deborah White said. “Quite simply, the settlement orchestrated by the card networks and banks would have undermined merchants' legal rights forever and would have allowed Visa and MasterCard to impose higher and higher swipe fees with impunity. Today's decision is a victory for all merchants and consumers.”
 
The National Retail Federation (NRF), another organization that wasn’t party to the lawsuit, but appealed the ruling in 2014 on behalf of many of its members said that under the settlement small retailers would have seen as little as a few hundred dollars under the settlement. Retailers who rejected the monetary settlement would have still been bound by other restrictions the court would not let them opt out of, including a prohibition on future lawsuits over the fees.
 
Data cited by the NRF shows that credit card swipe fees average about 2% of each transaction and amounted to about $30 billion a year at the time of the settlement.
 
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NACDS, NCPA push Congress not to raise TRICARE copays

BY David Salazar
WASHINGTON — Two industry organizations are asking Congress not to raise pharmacy copays for TRICARE beneficiaries. In a letter to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Community Pharmacists Association point out that the Congressional Budget Office has warned of the potential impact that provisions in the Senate FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 
 
“In reviewing the Senate version of the FY2016 NDAA, the CBO found that copay increases would result in an increase of over $1 billion in other federal spending for medical services, particularly in Medicare,” the letter said. “The CBO has again this year found similar results for the copay increases included in the Senate version of the FY2017 NDAA.”
 
NACDS and NCPA urged the Senate committee to adopt the House’s position, which does not include provisions that would increase TRICARE copays, arguing that higher copays can have detrimental effects on patient health and federal spending. 
 
“Further copay increases place even greater financial burdens on TRICARE beneficiaries and unfairly penalize TRICARE beneficiaries who prefer to use local pharmacies,” the letter said. “Additionally, restricting beneficiary access and raising copay amounts can have the unintended effect of reducing medication adherence, resulting in decreased health outcomes and increased use of more costly medical interventions, such as physician and emergency room visits, and hospitalizations. These additional costs are often shifted to other federal programs.”
 
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FDA approves 10th indication for Humira

BY David Salazar
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab) to treat adults with non-infectious intermediate, posterior and panuveitas, the company announced Friday. Its new indication is the 10th for the drug in the U.S. for immune-meditated diseases.
 
"We are pleased to provide patients with the first FDA-approved non-corticosteroid treatment option for certain types of uveitis, an eye disease that can flare and impact vision,” AbbVie EVP research and development and chief scientific officer Dr. Mike Severino said. "These approvals reflect our ongoing focus on continuing to innovate with HUMIRA to address critical unmet needs of patients living with serious immune-mediated diseases."
 
Humira was first approved in 2003, and has since been approved in more than 90 countries. 
 
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D.PATEL says:
Jul-05-2016 12:47 pm

very good articles. i wish they put some annual sales of otc and rx drugs for knowledge.

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