The clerk of the federal district court in Wilmington, Del., confirmed this morning that a judge did not rule that drug manufacturer AstraZeneca is not required to deliver 340B discounts drugs to an unlimited number of contract pharmacies. There were news reports late yesterday and this morning that a judge issued such a ruling on July 23.
U.S. Chief District Judge Leonard Stark, whose chambers are in Wilmington, is assigned to AstraZeneca’s 340B contract pharmacy lawsuit against the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) and the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Asked about reports of an order being issued on July 23, the clerk’s office for U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware said this morning that court records show “no orders have been filed on that date” in AstraZeneca’s lawsuit.
The court’s own online database of opinions shows no such order. Nor does the lawsuit’s docket in the federal judiciary’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) database.
News organization Inside Health Policy reported late yesterday afternoon that a federal judge in Delaware “on July 23 ruled that AstraZeneca does not have to provide 340B discounts on drugs sold to an unlimited number of pharmacies that 340B hospitals contract with.”
Inside Health Policy said the order states, “AstraZeneca is not required to deliver 340B discounted drugs to an unlimited number of contract pharmacies.”
Healthcare news organization Endpoints News reported this morning “the Delaware District Court has ruled in AstraZeneca’s favor, saying, ‘AstraZeneca is not required to deliver 340B-discounted drugs to an unlimited number of contract pharmacies.’” Financial news organization Seeking Alpha reported this morning, “A federal court in Delaware has ruled that AstraZeneca is not required to offer discounted drugs under the 340B program to an unlimited number of pharmacies, dealing a blow to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).”
There were social media posts about the news articles and the supposed court ruling.
The confusion may be linked to a proposed order that AstraZeneca filed in the case on July 23. The sentence “AstraZeneca is not required to deliver 340B discounted drugs to an unlimited number of contract pharmacies” is in the proposed order.
AstraZeneca and the federal government are scheduled today to file responses to one another’s earlier briefs in the case. Arguments are scheduled for Sept. 14.
The lawsuit currently focuses mainly on the legality of HRSA’s May 17 finding that AstraZeneca’s 340B contract pharmacy actions have resulted in overcharges and are in direct violation of the 340B statute.