New York state and Virginia health centers on Friday asked a federal district judge to deny four insulin and diabetes drug manufacturers’ motion to dismiss the health centers’ antitrust class action over the companies’ denials of 340B pricing when covered entities use contract pharmacies.
Upstate New York health center Mosaic Health sued Sanofi, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and AstraZeneca in late July 2021. Mosaic says the companies colluded to raise their prices by eliminating contract pharmacy 340B drug discounts, while protecting their market position from competition from one another, in violation of federal and state antitrust laws.
Central Virginia Health Services (CVHS) joined Mosaic as a co-plaintiff in late October 2021.
The four drug manufacturers asked Chief Judge Elizabeth Wolford of U.S. District Court for the District of Western New York in November 2021 to toss the case out on multiple grounds, including that the suit represents “an improper attempt to end-run” around the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 ruling that 340B covered entities lack a private right of action to sue manufacturers over alleged illegal charges above 340B ceiling prices.
In papers filed with the court on Jan. 7, Mosaic and CVHS strongly disputed that they are trying to get around the Supreme Court’s ban on 340B lawsuits by covered entities. “This price-fixing case does not turn in any way on whether [the companies’] restrictions are legal or illegal under Section 340B,” the health centers said. “Plaintiffs can prove their antitrust claims without showing violations of Section 340B. That is what Plaintiffs intend to do, and the complaint takes no position on the meaning of Section 340B.”
The two sides are awaiting a separate decision by Wolford on the drug companies’ motion to pause fact-finding in the lawsuit pending her decision on the companies’ motion to dismiss the case.