U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich is expected to rule soon on whether to consolidate Novartis and United Therapeutics’ 340B contract pharmacy lawsuits.

Feds, Novartis, and UT Weigh in on Consolidating 340B Contract Pharmacy Lawsuits

The federal government told a federal district judge yesterday it consents to the judge’s proposal to speed up and simultaneously consider Novartis and United Therapeutics’ (UT) pending motions for preliminary injunctions in the two companies’ 340B contract pharmacy lawsuits. The government also said it consents to consolidated, expedited consideration of all cross motions for summary judgement in both cases.

Judge Dabney Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is hearing both cases.

UT told the judge it does not object to an expedited joint hearing on cross-motions for summary judgment. It said it plans, as previously scheduled, to file its motion for summary judgement tomorrow, but will not file a separate motion for a preliminary injunction at this time. If the government initiates enforcement action against it before the judge hands down his decision, it said it probably will seek a temporary restraining order.

Novartis told the judge it consents to expediting its case. But it said any efficiency gained from consolidating its case with UT’s would be outweighed by differences between the two companies’ 340B policies and between how far along their cases are.

Novartis pointed out that briefing in its case is nearly complete, and a hearing is already set for July 28. “If the court is nonetheless inclined to consolidate the two lawsuits and hold a joint merits hearing, Novartis would strongly prefer that a hearing be set on September 8, and at the latest by mid-September, in order to further prompt resolution of the lawsuit,” it said.

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