U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich is now in charge of four 340B contract pharmacy lawsuits.

D.C. Federal Judge Picks Up a Fourth 340B Contract Pharmacy Lawsuit

U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich of the District of Columbia has been assigned to a fourth 340B contract pharmacy lawsuit.

Boehringer Ingelheim’s (BI) lawsuit in defense of its policy of denying hospitals 340B drug discounts when hospitals use contract pharmacies was assigned to Friedrich on Tuesday. BI filed the suit on Monday.

Friedrich already is hearing drug manufacturers Novartis and United Therapeutics’ (UT) and drug industry vendor Kalderos’ lawsuits seeking to vacate federal health agency findings that manufacturers violate the 340B statute when they deny or impose conditions on 340B pricing when covered entities use contract pharmacies.

Friedrich held a hearing Oct. 12 in the Novartis and UT cases, which she consolidated for oral arguments. She said she agreed with the federal district judge in AstraZeneca’s 340B contract pharmacy case that the 340B statute is silent on contract pharmacy and does not plainly require drug manufacturers to honor 340B purchases by covered entities regardless of how they choose to dispense covered drugs to patients.

Friedrich spent much of the hearing quizzing lawyers for drug makers Novartis and United Therapeutics and the federal government about other possible grounds upon which the government might win the cases that the two companies have brought against it. She said she would try “to get out an opinion shortly.”

On the same day as the hearing, Friedrich was assigned to Kalderos’ lawsuit. The company sued the government over its 340B contract pharmacy requirements on Oct. 6.

Friedrich was appointed by President Trump and approved by an almost unanimous U.S. Senate to her judgeship in 2017.  Prior to that time, she was a Commissioner of the United States Sentencing Commission and served as an Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush from 2003-2006. She also served as a counsel to then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) from 2002-2003.

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