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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pharmaceuticals AstraZeneca (AZN) (SNY) (BMY) (MRK) (PFE) (GSK) Win in California Case

Giant pharmaceutical companies like AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), Sanofi-Aventis SA (NYSE:SNY), Takeda Pharmaceutical (TKPHF.PK), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), Merck (NYSE:MRK), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) won a court battle which went to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it was ruled a California county can't sue pharmaceutical companies because they allegedly overcharged public health-care facilities for prescription drugs.

The unanimous opinion was that California's Santa Clara County did not have a legal right to bring the lawsuit in the first place.

Claims made against the companies by the county were pricing obligations to health-care facilities that serve the poor, and whether those facilities have a right to sue drug companies to enforce those obligations.

Under agreements with the federal government, drug makers must cap the prices they charge medical facilities that provide safety-net health services.

The conclusion was the responsibility for enforcement of pricing belongs to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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