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12:00 AM
May 26, 2003
 |  BioCentury  |  Politics, Policy & Law

Supreme Court punts, mostly

Although the pharmaceutical industry failed to win its case against Maine's drug price control law in the U.S. Supreme Court, states also were denied a precedent to back their efforts to use Medicaid to leverage better prices from pharmaceutical companies. Indeed, the price control advocates may have to wait for a decision from the Bush administration.

Acting on narrow legal issues, The Supreme Court last week rejected the contention that the Maine Rx law violates the U.S. Constitution and ruled that industry had not established that implementation of Maine Rx would violate federal Medicaid law. The high court struck down an injunction that had blocked implementation of Maine Rx and returned the case to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine.

At the same time, the Supreme Court did not endorse Maine Rx. And in an opinion that echoed comments by the justices during oral arguments, the high court strongly suggested that the lower court solicit HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson's views about Maine Rx (see BioCentury, Jan. 27, 2003),

The administration has sent strong signals that it is unlikely to approve programs such as Maine Rx that seek to use powers granted under the Medicaid program to control prices for all state residents without...

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