ARTICLE | Company News

CSL, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Bristol-Myers, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, sanofi-aventis pharmaceuticals news

October 4, 2010 7:00 AM UTC

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal early next year seeking to prevent local health providers that participate in the 340B drug discount program from suing drug manufacturers for alleged drug overpricing. Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that 340B entities have the right as third parties to sue because they are intended direct beneficiaries of the 340B pharmaceutical pricing agreement between manufacturers and HHS. The Ninth Circuit also said that allowing such suits from 340B entities is consistent with the intent of Congress in enacting the 340B program, "even though the statute itself does not create a federal private cause of action."

Santa Clara County originally filed a class action suit in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Alameda alleging that a group of pharmaceutical companies violated the pricing agreement under the 340B program and overcharged 340B health providers for covered drugs. The suit was subsequently moved to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which rejected the county's claim finding that the county did not have a right to sue under the statute. The drug manufacturers, including AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers and Pfizer, argue that the entities do not have standing to sue under the 340B statute. ...